Local workers and firms reaping benefits of new Wear Crossing

North East members of Farrans team, from left, secretary Julie Jones, from Sunderland; engineer Michael Cunningham, from Newcastle; and engineer Amy Wright, from Houghton.
North East members of Farrans team, from left, secretary Julie Jones, from Sunderland; engineer Michael Cunningham, from Newcastle; and engineer Amy Wright, from Houghton.
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Wearside workers are cashing in on the new Wear Crossing.

The latest figures from contractor FVB show around two-thirds of the contracts to supply materials to the £117million project have gone to North East businesses, with more than three-quarters within a 20-mile radius.

Coun Paul Watson at the site of the new Wear Crossing.

Coun Paul Watson at the site of the new Wear Crossing.

And more than 450 of the 700 people who have worked on the site since May live within 20 miles.

WATCH: Time-lapse video as the way is prepared for new Wear Crossing

Amy Wright, 26, from Houghton, is a senior site engineer on the bridge project.

She said: “This is the biggest construction project in the North East, combining a range of complexities, skills and technologies, so it’s great to be involved.

An artist's impression of the New Wear Bridge.

An artist's impression of the New Wear Bridge.

“It’s a project I can learn from and something I can look back on with pride in years to come.

“The bridge will be an amazing structure for Sunderland. It’s wonderful that so many local people will be involved.”

Progress has stepped up in recent weeks, with work under way in the river on foundations to support the bridge’s 105m-tall pylon.

Stephen McCaffrey, project director for FVB, said: “We were very keen to involve the local workforce and business community because this is a landmark structure that the people of Sunderland should be involved in and proud of.

“We are fortunate because the region has a wealth of skilled people and a variety of businesses that we can draw on.

“We have held three Meet the Buyer events and are constantly on the lookout for reliable, competent and qualified sub-contractors, suppliers and personnel, so if anyone is interested in future opportunities they should get in touch by e-mail.”

City council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “As well as helping to bring significant economic benefits to the city, we want this to be a bridge for the people, so I’m glad to hear local people and businesses are benefiting from it through work and the supply of materials.”

For information about work opportunities, e-mail newwearcrossing@farrans.com.

* The Echo has joined forces with Sunderland City Council to find a name for the bridge.

The first phase will agree on a theme for the name, after which people will be asked to vote on their favourite from a shortlist.

To take part in the naming consultation, go to www.newwearcrossing.co.uk.