A WESTHOUGHTON company that produces the bank notes we all use today has announced it is expanding its premises and creating 70 new jobs.

De La Rue, based in Wingates, Westhoughton, has announced a bumper year of trade with profits of up to £37 million.

The company says this is due to a strong performance in its currency division, based in Westhoughton, and that it has decided on Westhoughton to expand its SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate production.

This polymer substrate is what’s used by the Bank of England to help create the current £5, £10 and £20 notes we use today.

The new production centre will be located in a recently acquired building next to its existing premises in Wingates, making for a much more efficient operation, according to De La Rue.

De La Rue expects this new site to be fully operational by the end of 2021 and that it will more than double current polymer production capacity.

The company also plans to recruit an additional 70 staff during the next two-and-a-half years as part of this growth and investment.

Clive Vacher, CEO of De La Rue, said: “I am pleased that we are able to report increased adjusted operating profit expectations for the year, due to positive trading. We remain focused on delivering shareholder value through the successful execution of our Turnaround Plan.

“In addition, I am delighted to announce further investment in manufacturing and job creation in the North West of the UK, as we continue to increase our polymer market share globally.

“The Currency team has done a remarkable job in bringing De La Rue’s SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate to a position of industry leadership.

“It is a fitting endorsement of the technical and operational capabilities of our Westhoughton site, that we have made the decision to concentrate our polymer substrate manufacturing into this centre of excellence.”

Chris Green, MP for Bolton West and Atherton, said: “It is fantastic news for Bolton that De La Rue, one of our town’s most prestigious employers, is investing in its factory at Westhoughton.

“This will create up to 70 new high-skilled manufacturing jobs – very welcome news in the current climate,” he added.