Carillion has sealed a £500 million contract to build nearly 14 new schools and remodel 30 more in Durham under the Building Future Schools programme.
The construction giant will work on 44 secondary and special schools across the county, leading the Inspired Spaces consortium.
The Durham project is part of the UK government’s £55 billion BSF programme.
David Theobald, the Durham County Council BSF project director, said: “This early partnership working, which was in response to Inspired Spaces’ status as a single bidder, sets us up well for the operational stage of the programme.
“Work on our first four schools is already underway to allow these to be completed by the end of 2010, and design and planning of the next batch has commenced.”
Carillion was the only firm left in the bidding list for several months and in May was announced as the preferred bidder for the contract.