A construction firm has clinched its biggest-ever deal.
Hartlepool-based Gus Robinson Developments will start on a £4.8m scheme later this month at Great Park, in Newcastle.
More than 1,500 homes have already been built along with a new school, a state-of-the-art office complex and community sports facilities.
The Hartlepool firm will build apartments above retail units in a contract expected to take 12 months.
Managing director Steve Bell said: ““This is the biggest scheme we have done to date, and we were delighted when we got the news that we were the preferred developer.
“Over the years, Gus Robinson Developments have carried out a wide variety of commercial construction projects, many of them being in the retail sector.
“It is only over the last five years that we have been involved in building affordable housing.
“This is the first time we have been able to showcase both parts of the business within the same project and the whole of the team are looking forward to seeing the scheme progress.”
Thirty eight two-bedroom apartments will be built on behalf of social housing provider Benicia Homes.
Elsewhere, Gus Robinson Developments is also due to start work on a housing project at the former Plawsworth Road School site, in Sacriston, and at Kirkwood Drive, in Kenton, Newcastle, where 15 apartments with specialist communal facilities are being created for adults with learning difficulties to enjoy independent living.
Mr Bell said it was “pleasing to be moving into new markets further north.”