Scores of construction jobs have been secured after a building firm won amultimillion-pound contract.

Adenstar, along with many others in the industry, has suffered badly from the economic downturn and laid off more than 80% of its staff.

The company, based in Portslade, which has worked on several major infrastructure projects including Brighton Marina, Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne and the NewEngland Quarter site in Brighton, saw the size of its workforce slump to just 25 people.

However, Adenstar is now looking to double in size after signing a deal worth £7 million with BA to improve facilities at Heathrowin preparation of the delivery of new aircraft.

Derek Chapman, chief executive of Adenstar, said the work will secure the company’s future for at least another two years.

Though he was delighted to win the contract he is still very concerned over the state of the construction industry.

“The market is still terrible,” Mr Chapman said.“We have been living job to job to keep the firm busy.”

Mr Chapman said competition for work has been ruthless.

“We seem to keep coming second in the majority of work that we are pricing for,” he said. “There is always someone in the construction industry who seems to undercut the rest.

“They will take a job on a nil-profit basis then see if they can squeeze their suppliers into cutting their costs.

“That is not the Adenstar way.”

Mr Chapman is also very worried about the forthcoming squeeze on public spending, which has already seen the Government cancel a number of capital projects under the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Hesaid“Everyonewespeak towho has been busy has beenworking in education or the health sector. I cannot see things getting better in the immediate future.”

Adenstar had already completed a £7.5 million contract on behalf of BAfor work on Terminal 5.

A spokesman for the airline said: “Over the next two years we will be making modifications to our engineering base in preparation for receiving new aircraft types .

“Adenstar has been contracted to resurface areas of the base to facilitate aircraft parking and movements. We have worked with Adenstar for many years, and look forward to the successful completion of this project.”