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They carry supplies, vehicles and people and are essential to the country’s productivity, commerce and connectivity. They can support thousands of tonnes of weight and can withstand the worst storms Mother Nature can devise. They represent one of the pinnacles of engineering excellence and ingenuity, yet there are only a handful of companies in the UK that can create them. What are they?


Cleveland Bridge in the North East is one of those elite companies that create some of the world’s most iconic and vital bridges. The company also uses its skill with engineering and manufacturing massive steel structures to deliver other types of projects, including buildings and structures.

With over 140 years in the business, Cleveland Bridge has built an impressive project portfolio, from the Victoria Falls Bridge and the Wembley Stadium Arch, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Shard in London. Currently, the firm is kept busy by a large number of bridges along the UK’s major highways. This work will be featured in an upcoming programme on the BBC about the A1: Britain’s Longest Road.

With over 1000 employees at offices in Darlington (headquarters), Saudi Arabia and Dubai, Cleveland Bridge has a capacity of over 170,000 tonnes per year. The steel beams for their projects are created in-house in Darlington and transported to locations across the country to be assembled.

Apprentices form an important part of the company’s elite team of engineers, and this apprenticeship programme is part of the company’s strategy for continued growth and succession planning.

An EEF member, Cleveland Bridge is also committed to being a part of the community of UK manufacturers and keeping British engineering at the forefront of innovation. Fin Farrelly, Marketing Manager at Cleveland Bridge, says, “We’re a proud member of EEF, and we support it because it is one of the biggest supporters of UK manufacturing. It raises the profile of manufacturing certainly within the UK, but also in Europe. We find they’re very useful at giving advice on a wide range of complex issues from policy experts.”

With this backing and growing demand for new infrastructure projects across the UK and beyond, Cleveland Bridge is expecting to continue its success in the future.