Firm hoping to land train-line contract and boost jobs

A Stanton-By-Dale firm is optimistic about the future after an announcement by the government and a visit by a minister this week.

Concrete precast firm Stanton Bonna, which provided and supplied £20m of track materials for the HS1 rail line from London to Kent, was visited on Monday by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

The Cabinet minister dropped in at the firm with the Erewash MP Jessica Lee to support plans for the HS2 line to London, which will have a regional train station at Toton Sidings.

It is hoped the company will be in the running for a contract to again supply materials.

Barry Cooper, chief executive at Stanton Bonna, said he hoped the firm’s experience providing sleepers and drainage pipes for the HS1 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link would stand it in good stead.

“HS2 will be a long project over two phases and it’s going to be a substantial contract,” said Mr Cooper.

“I would hope it would grow jobs here - 80 per cent of our workforce is from Ilkeston and the surrounding areas.”

The company, which employs up to 270 staff and makes everything it sells on-site, has not yet started the tendering process for the contract but the chief executive confirmed a bid would be put in place if HS2 was approved.

“Jessica Lee knows we have the expertise in this field so when we were told about the visit we were not surprised.”

Mr Grayling said he hoped the new high speed train link in Toton would provide much better transport for the area and help free up existing rail lines in for more freight.

He added: “This company (Stanton Bonna) was responsible for part of HS1 so I would hope it would benefit them in the future.

“Stanton Bonna is in a strong position but of course still has to go through the tender process.”

Erewash MP Jessica Lee said: “Sutton Bonna is a good example of a successful local business which is bound to benefit in the long run.”