THE Prime Minister has committed to developing a ‘secure economy’ for Bolton.

On a visit to major defence supplier MBDA’s facility at Logistics North yesterday, Theresa May said that only she could deliver growth and prosperity across the UK.

Mrs May — who visited Bolton for the second time during this election, having launched the Tory campaign at a church hall in Egerton last month — came straight to the Over Hulton employment hub after unveiling the Conservative manifesto.

AS IT HAPPENED: Theresa May visits MBDA in Bolton

She said that voters faced a ‘very clear choice’ on June 8 and that every vote for Tory candidates in Bolton would strengthen her hand going into the ‘most challenging five years’ of her life.

After a tour of the MDBA base in which she spoke to company bosses and apprentices, the Prime Minister said: “What we want to do is look at all parts of the country to see where there are clusters of expertise where we can develop and encourage the growth of businesses.

“This is part of our modern industrial strategy and I have been talking to the company here about it. Developing secure economies so that people have, within an area, the security of knowing that there is a variety of jobs but there is a core expertise that can be built on for the future.”

MBDA boss Bernard Waldron said: “I talked with the Prime Minister about the role of defence and the investment of £50 million that we have made in the local economy here.

“Our manufacturing capability here is absolutely fundamental. The North West has a long history of manufacturing and to have a world-leading company with our breadth of skills here will give long-term benefits to the economy.”

The Prime Minister also said that improving Greater Manchester’s infrastructure, including new rail services, would be “an important element of ensuring that we are seeing growth in our economy”.

The Conservative manifesto pledges to balance the budget by 2025 and increase NHS spending to £8 billion a year extra by 2022, as well as restating a pledge to bring net immigration down to tens of thousands a year.

Mrs May added: “There’s a very clear choice for people across the Greater Manchester area when they come to vote at this election on June 8.

“I say it’s not about who people have voted for before, it’s about who they want to lead this country for the next five years. There is only one of two people who is going to be Prime Minister on June 9 — either me or Jeremy Corbyn. I have the plan and vision for building a stronger Britain for the future and I, and my team, also recognise the importance of getting Brexit right, delivering on Brexit and making a success of it.”

Mrs May’s manifesto also outlines plans to increase school funding by £4 billion, partly funded by scrapping free school lunches for infant school pupils.

She moved to reassure struggling Bolton families that the policy would not harm children, saying: “We are going to change the arrangements for free school lunches, but we will be ensuring that every primary school child has a free school breakfast. And for those who are children from the poorest families, they will get a breakfast and a lunch.”

Sarah Pochin, Tory candidate in the Bolton South East constituency the Prime Minister was visiting, added that she was glad to see Mrs May supporting Bolton businesses as well as commiting to increased defence spending and putting the defence of the nation "at the forefront" of Tory policy.

Bolton West Tory candidate Chris Green said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has yet again visited Bolton and especially MBDA, which is a world-leading company the kind of which we increasingly need to see locating in and around Bolton.”

James Daly, Tory Bolton North East candidate, added: "It was brilliant to see the Prime Minister visiting the MBDA facility and supporting high value jobs and prosperity in the town.

"It is disappointing that Jeremy Corbyn has not visited any business in Bolton during this campaign and that is in complete contrast to the Prime Minister."