BOSSES at a Bolton blast door maker say a new £36m contract for the HS2 rail line will generate 50 new jobs.

Mark Thurston, chief executive for the high-speed rail bid, visited the Nelson Street factory of Booth Industries, where 303 safety doors for HS2 will be manufactured.

The Bolton firm won the £36m contract last year, which made the expansion of their factory possible, with a new factory building.

This will enable them to create a 50 new skilled and professional roles over the course of the 10-year contract.

The safety doors will be fire protected for the cross passages along Phases 1 and 2a of the HS2 route, from London to the West Midlands and the West Midlands to Crewe, which will provide a safe means of escape in the event of fire.

The doors will be crucial in the operation of the railway, sealing off the cross passageways between the separate north and southbound tunnels.

Mr Thurston said: “We initially chose Booth Industries because of their specialism with doors, which they are very skilled at.

“It was also important the safety of the products could be ensured too.

“It’s really great to see everything up close during the design and manufacturing process.

“This is such a huge benefit for Bolton to be a part of this, and it’s just one of a number of organisations involved in the local area.”

The contract started this year, with engineers working on the prototypes, with the designs expected to emerge soon. The first part of the contract will focus on developing and testing, and then moving on to the manufacturing of the cast-in sub-frames.

The first frames are expected to be delivered to contractors before the end of 2021, with manufacturing and installation expected to start in 2025.

Mike Jenkinson, Booth managing director, said: “This will help create a wide range of highly-skilled jobs, apprenticeships, design and project related jobs.

“This is just another one of our projects within infrastructure, having designed, manufactured and installed the cross passage doors to the original High Speed One Channel Tunnel Rail Link over 15 years ago. We have been able to give them the comfort over the years, and confidence to invest.”

Mr Thurston met with the team working on the project to see how the HS2 contract has benefitted the firm, as well as the benefits expected locally in the supply chain.

One of the companies involved in the supply chain aspect of the project is Elite 04 Ltd in Burnley.

While Booth Industries will be responsible for manufacturing the doors, Elite 04 Ltd will carry out a process called blast cleaning to remove any debris from the metal.

Dave Lees, from Elite 04, said: “It’s nice to be asked to assist, and we are very grateful to Booths for the opportunity in terms of growth. It gives us confidence, working with Booths and HS2 going forward.”

Cllr Martyn Cox, council leader, said: “I am delighted that this will create 50 jobs over the course of the contract.

“I expect there to also be a lot more over the next few years, with a huge investment in transport infrastructure, along with the billion pound investment in transport in the city region in Greater Manchester.”