Surgo Construction, one of the North East’s leading building contractors, has been appointed by Newcastle University as principal contractor on a scheme to build and refurbish its Catherine Cookson extension and social hub.

The contract, valued at almost £4.4m, takes the value of new education sector work won by Surgo this quarter to £7m.

Surgo was appointed to the Catherine Cookson extension, a design and build project, from an initial shortlist of six contractors and will be managing two firms of architects throughout – the Durham-based practice, Howarth Litchfield Partnership (HLP), who are working on the laboratory refurbishment works and FaulknerBrowns, responsible for the courtyard extension. The 53-week contract started on site at the beginning of June.

A delighted Jeff Alexander, director of Surgo, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Newcastle University again and having the opportunity to utilise our experience of working in tight, fully operational locations. This appointment demonstrates that there is still work to be won in the higher education sector, in spite of the challenges that regional contractors like Surgo have faced recently with competition from national frameworks.

“It also marks a welcome return to Newcastle University campus for us. There is a definite uplift in activity within the regional construction market which is pleasing to see.”

Other education wins include a return to the Christopherson Building at Durham University to undertake Phase 4 of its phased development.   Surgo has already worked on the enabling package as well as Phase 3.

Worth £1.6m, this latest project involves internal refurbishment within the engineering building in conjunction with architect, GSS and engineering consultancy, Desco.

Surgo has also returned to undertake further construction work at the Trinity Academy in Doncaster which was originally built by the team and opened in 2005. The £900k project will provide a link corridor from the existing building to a new teaching block.