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Cleveland Bridge to concentrate on bespoke steelwork

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CONTRACTOR CLEVELAND Bridge is to undertake an internal review of its operations following its bruising encounter with Multiplex on the Wembley National Stadium project.

Main shareholder Al Rashaid gave Cleveland Bridge a major cash injection to help it fight a legal battle with Mulitplex over its dismissal from the Wembley project.

Cleveland was steel fabricator and arch erector at Wembley (NCE 11 November 2004).

'Wembley knocked us hard, but we've seen more investment in the last 12 months than in the previous 12 years, ' said Cleveland Bridge president Jon Dale.

'That investment has enabled us to continue operations and to give our clients confidence that we have a long-term future.

'It has also put us in a position to fend off an extremely strong and aggressive attacker, ' he added.

The Darlington-based steelwork specialist also faces stiff competition from low cost steel fabricators in eastern Europe and China.

Dale wants to gain an edge over these firms by specialising in complex, bespoke steel fabrication.

'In future it's likely to be only very specialised, difficult parts that get done in Darlington, ' he warned.

Dale said he did not anticipate factory job cuts.

A year ago Cleveland was turning over £100M, this year the figure was down to £45M.

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