Ballymena-based Wrightbus says that a new order for London buses will secure local jobs.
The Transport for London Board has given approval to order a further batch of 200 New Routemaster buses from Wrightbus.
The contract, which will now be finalised, is for buses to be delivered up to the second quarter of 2016, and secures employment on two of the production lines at Wrights Group’s EN-Drive chassis facility in Antrim, as well as its main bus assembly plant in Ballymena.
In confirming the anticipated order Mark Nodder, Chairman and CEO of Wrights Group, said: “Once again we are delighted to have confirmation of a substantial order from London, which is a massive endorsement of the success of the New Routemaster and the company’s position as leading designers and manufacturers of eye-catching and environmentally responsible vehicles.
“The order will secure jobs in Ballymena and Antrim, underpin our programme of continuous innovation, and will benefit our local supply base in Northern Ireland.”
Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “The TfL Board recently gave approval to purchase a further 200 New Routemaster buses to be built by Wrightbus. These buses improve the journey experience of passengers, enhance air quality, reduce vehicle noise and cut emissions with associated health benefits. The buses will be built in Northern Ireland with many of the component parts also manufactured in the UK, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.”
Welcoming the news Arlene Foster, MLA Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment said; “This latest order from Transport for London is hugely important for Wrightbus and once again puts Northern Ireland manufacturing firmly on the global stage.
“The firm is clearly reaping the benefits of its continued investment in new product development and cutting edge design, supported by Invest Northern Ireland. Its continuing success in winning contracts reflects the company’s focus on innovation and export marketing which has resulted in it becoming a significant player across a range of international markets.”