Wrightbus creates 130 new jobs

Published Monday, 12 May 2014
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Ballymena-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus is creating 130 new jobs as part of a £14m investment, it has been announced.

Wrightbus creates 130 new jobs
Mark Nodder, Wrights Group MD, Minister Foster & Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI. (© M T Hurson/Harrisons)

The investment in five research and development (R&D) projects is expected to create £2.5m in annual income.

The family-owned company is one of the UK's leading bus builders and employs around 1,800 staff in Northern Ireland.

The new roles are being created in Wright EN-Drive, the firm's dedicated facility for the design and manufacture of integral vehicle chassis.

The R&D projects include developing a range of low-cost premium class buses and coaches for the Indian market, low height and narrower double deckers for the Australia/New Zealand market, electric-powered, zero emission single and double deck vehicles for the Hong Kong market, double deck and single deck buses for Middle East countries and a new integral chassis.

Announcing the investment on Monday, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "Wrights Group is one of our most successful indigenous manufacturing companies, and this is in large part due to its continuous focus on innovation.

"In the last five years Wrights Group has undertaken a number of successful R&D projects that have significantly boosted its sales and international profile. This investment will further strengthen its product portfolio and its ability to sell into markets around the world.

"The company has high growth potential as is reflected in the creation of 130 new jobs, which will generate £2.5m a year in wages for the local economy. It is also strategically important to the Northern Ireland supply chain."

Invest NI has offered £1.8m of support for the R&D projects, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and £650k of support for the 130 jobs through its Jobs Fund.

Mark Nodder, Group Managing Director of Wrights Group, said: "Our aim is to become a world class designer and manufacturer of integral public transport vehicles and evolve into a major international supplier to the worldwide bus market.

"This investment brings us a step closer to achieving that. With Invest NI's support we will be able to bring products to market quickly, and we anticipate that within four years we can triple export sales."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ray in Ballymena wrote (265 days ago):
130 new jobs and Wrights have paid off around 50 workers in the last few months!!!!!! Hard to understand.
Chrissy in Ballymena wrote (265 days ago):
No big announcment on the 30 odd long term agency staff they let go on thursday!! Big surprise!!
Iain in Ballygowan wrote (266 days ago):
Well done to Wrightbus. But I hope they are working hard to develop electric technology, for zero emission operation. BYD's electric bus and ABB's 'flash charging' technology show where the future lies in urban transport.
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