ANTI-FRACKING protesters celebrated today as a Bolton firm ended its involvement in a controversial project.

Quarry operators Armstrong Aggregates announced that it will terminate work with AE Yates Ltd and drilling firm Cuadrilla to provide materials for the building of a shale gas exploration site at Little Plumpton, in Lancashire.

The news came after dozens of Bolton Against Fracking protesters stationed themselves at the Montcliffe Quarry, in Georges Lane, Horwich, today.

The campaigners marched with placards and blocked the road to slow down trucks coming in and out of the quarry.

River Rain, of the Bolton Against Fracking group, said: “We started at 6.30am on Monday and were supported by local residents from Horwich and the Woolston Anti-Fracking group.

“We blocked off the road to slow down trucks going in and out of the quarry.

“In the afternoon, the company came out with a signed note saying that they had terminated their work with AE Yates and Cuadrilla and the mood among all of the protesters was amazing.

“It can be quite demoralising when you are always fighting against big corporations and we realise this is only a small victory.

“But to have a Bolton firm end its involvement with the Little Plumpton site is a positive for us, even though we know another firm will be brought in in their place.”

A spokesman for the Chorley New Road-based said that the decision had been made due to “purely commercial reasons.”

A note handed to the protest group and signed by company director David Armstrong said: “We have made the decision at 1pm today to terminate all work at Little Plumpton with AE Yates and Cuadrilla.”

In January, protesters also campaigned outside the base of AE Yates Ltd at the Lostock Industrial Estate, after the firm secured a £1.5 million contract to build the Little Plumpton facility last year.

Bolton Against Fracking spokesman Darren Tickle added: “This news shows that our message is getting through.

“We are all really pleased, the fact that Armstrong has agreed to this is brilliant.

“Whether or not the decision has been made because of our protest, I don’t know, but if they are no longer willing to supply the Little Plumpton site then that is good news for us.

“If we can influence local companies to not aid the fracking process then that can only be good news for Bolton.”