Drigg's Low Level Waste Repository has signed the second half of its major four-year framework contract with partner Graham Construction.

The contract was split into two-year sections, with LLWR, based near Drigg, retaining the option to proceed with the second half of the deal, based on performance.

Family-owned Graham Construction was awarded the four-year engineering, design and construction framework in 2014, and the two organisations have since formed a single integrated team to work on a series of major programmes and projects, including security enhancement, repository development and site infrastructure improvements.

Paul Pointon, LLWR’s head of site, said: “The signing of this contract extension is a measure of the confidence we have in Graham Construction to continue to carry out extensive works on our site over the next two years.

“The single team approach is working well and producing results and I want to thank all involved for their efforts. We expect the relationship between the two organisations to flourish over the next two years, building on the experience gained in the past two years.”

Graham Construction is based in Northern Ireland but has worked tirelessly to integrate into the West Cumbrian community.

Earlier this year it had 44 employees working on the framework, 32 of whom were local.

Around 83 people were also supported through sub-contracting, 90 per cent of which were small and medium sized businesses.

With LLWR support, the firm has also developed three science and engineering ambassadors, to work in schools, supported Drigg Gala Day and visited many schools and colleges to talk about the benefits of engineering.

Stuart Robertson, of Graham Construction, said: “We are delighted that the relationship with LLWR is going from strength-to-strength.

There is much to achieve over the next two years, but working closely with LLWR I’m sure we will continue to produce results.”