William Wright on Rich List

editorial image

One of Northern Ireland’s most renowned businessmen has entered on to the Sunday Times Ireland Rich List for the first time,

Making it on to the 2016 guide to Britain and Ireland’s richest people which was published on Sunday, William Wright is the highest earning newcomer.

Dr Wright and his family enter the 20th annual ranking of the 250 wealthiest on the island of Ireland in joint 151st place with a £68m fortune.

Now aged 88, William Wright began his career working in his father’s shed behind their house at Warden Street in Ballymena in the 1940s.

As coachbuilders, father and son built frames for bread vans and mobile shops.

From humble beginnings in the north of the town, he worked hard to move the business into the construction of buses, a process which saw it become the Wright Group, with Wrightbus its best-known subsidiary.

Dr Wright built the firm up to the world renowned operation it is today, known around the globe not least for producing the new London Routemaster or ‘Boris Bus’.

One of the province’s largest employers, Wrightbus employs some 2,000 staff and has sites in Galgorm and Antrim.

A former politician, Dr Wright, who was awarded the CBE in 2011, was an Ulster Unionist Councillor on Ballymena Borough Council for many years.

In recent weeks he has been campaigning for Britain to leave Europe and was appointed as Co-Chair of Northern Ireland Vote Leave pro brexit group last week.