£5.5 million investment at Ballymena bus company

Mark Nodder, Wrights Group and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI. Pic by Press Eye.
Mark Nodder, Wrights Group and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI. Pic by Press Eye.

Invest Northern Ireland has announced a £5.5 million investment by Ballymena company Wrightbus to develop and manufacture electric zero emission vehicles for international markets.

Alastair Hamilton CEO, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “The Wrights Group is an internationally-renowned advanced engineering business and a significant employer in County Antrim.

“Zero emission vehicle development is now a major area of interest within the transport industry and Wrightbus is at the forefront of this technology. Its progressive research and development and skills projects, supported by Invest NI, will support the company’s export ambitions and ensure it is positioned to compete for the expected increase in global demand for electric vehicles.”

Invest NI has offered the Ballymena company over £1.4 million towards its research and development activities and to support Wrightbus’ investment in skills and training. This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Mark Nodder, Chairman and CEO of The Wrights Group, said: “This investment marks an exciting new stage in the future direction of the business. Our ambition is to grow as a world class designer and manufacturer of public transport vehicles and in the process evolve into a major international supplier to the worldwide bus market.

“Invest NI’s support with our research and development and training activities is enabling us to scale our business at the optimum pace to grow our customer base in international markets.

“UK, Asian and European Union markets present significant commercial opportunities for the introduction of electric vehicles and we want to be able to offer these prospective customers a complete suite of vehicles with this technology.”

Invest NI’s support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.