A major South Tyneside highways improvement scheme is putting North East businesses on the right track.
More than £1.5million has been spent locally on the Lindisfarne junction project since it started in July last year.
Half of all materials used in the construction, including concrete, graded stone material and generator fuel, have been sourced within a 10-mile radius of the site in Jarrow.
And firms from the wider region have been awarded more than 50% of business on the scheme, which aims to ease congestion, improve journey times and enhance safety.
Among the South Tyneside businesses to benefit from the improvement works is Balfour Beatty Living Places, based at Boldon Colliery. The company has supplied street lighting and traffic signs, equating to £180,000 of work.
Coun Allan West, South Tyneside Council Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “In line with our economic growth strategy, it is only right that local and regional firms and our local workforce should benefit from this major infrastructure project.
“We work with contractors to ensure they maximise opportunities for labour and supply chains in the Borough.
“More than half the subcontractor employees working on the project live within just five miles of the site and hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of business has been generated in the Borough.”
The scheme, which involves widening both roundabouts and most of the dual carriageway in between from two to three lanes in both directions, is on schedule to finish in the summer.
Gino Salvatore, Business Development Manager with Galliford Try Infrastructure, said: “We always try to make a positive impact to the communities in which we work.
“Wherever possible we use local workforce and material suppliers, which generates investment in the community.
“We also gain a greater certainty and predictability of delivery times which helps us to deliver the project on time and within the agreed budget.”
The scheme is part of a programme of strategic transport investment projects to help reduce congestion, reinforce the economic potential of the A19 corridor and establish a strategic gateway into South Tyneside.