Finnforest has signed a £200,000-plus two-year deal to become main sponsor to the Widnes Vikings.

The company, which recently took over a business in Widnes which it intends to expand, also sponsors Nationwide Division 3 club Boston United.

Finnforest managing director John Tong said: “As a company, we work very hard to develop strong relationships with our local communities and we are confident that working closely with the Vikings will go a long way to achieving this.”

Finnforest bought the softwood timber distribution and processing business of Montague L Meyer earlier this year, which included the Widnes site, and Mr Tong said his company was interested in long-term investment there. “Our ambitious plans to continue growth throughout the UK will involve major investments at our new site on Ditton Road,” he said.

As well as having its name on both the home and away Vikings jersey, Finnforest will have first option on sponsorship in 2005.