Mayor welcomes Wrightbus jobs announcement
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, has welcomed today’s news of the creation by Wrightbus of up to 300 permanent jobs at its Ballymena headquarters – describing it as a “major boost” for the Borough.
“The strong growth trajectory and success experienced by Wrightbus over the past two years, despite challenges posed by the global pandemic, is testament to the outstanding resilience and ambition of the business, its leadership and its employees,” he said.
“This significant job creation not only brings a major economic boost to Mid and East Antrim and the wider Northern Ireland economy but serves as a ringing endorsement for the Borough’s long-established reputation as a hub for advanced manufacturing.”
The Mayor explained that, through its industry-led Manufacturing Task Force, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is driving an ambitious strategy to cement the Borough’s position as a CleanTech Centre of excellence with a particular focus on hydrogen.
“The Manufacturing Task Force was formed to work closely with companies like Wrightbus in providing a robust platform to support economic growth of the production sector through job creation, inward investment, and skills development.
“Part of our long-term vision is to establish a hydrogen hub in the Borough as part of the government’s wider green energy revolution, which will include the development of our innovative hydrogen training academy to provide bespoke training to support Northern Ireland’s growth in the renewables sector.
“That one of our local companies is already making such great strides in hydrogen and electric-powered transport for the global market signals strong confidence in the Borough’s long-term potential in this sector.”
Congratulating Wrightbus on its success, Councillor McCaughey, continued: “Council has enjoyed a longstanding, collaborative relationship with Wrightbus for many years as one of the Borough’s leading employers and exporters. We remain committed to doing everything we can to support the company as it progresses to this next exciting phase in its growth journey.
“On behalf of all at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I extend my warmest congratulations to Wrightbus and wish the company and its new and existing employees every continued success.”
SDLP Ballymena councillor Eugene Reid also welcomed the announcement.
Cllr Reid said: “It is heartening to see the continued revival of Wrightbus and these new jobs will bring a big boost to Ballymena and the surrounding area. The conversion of temporary jobs will also result in greater security for staff currently employed by the firm on a temporary basis.
“Wrightbus is a key employer and part of the community in Ballymena and it’s great to see them rebuilding their workforce as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. The initial job losses at this firm were a huge blow, which left many fearing the worst. While many major employers in this area have closed their doors for good, Wrightbus have managed to reverse that trend under new ownership.
“The company’s transition to developing hydrogen-powered, zero and low emission vehicles should safeguard its future for years to come, with renewed investment and support from SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon who ordered 100 zero-emission buses for Translink last year. Green and sustainable industries will only grow in future and with the demand for these type of vehicles set to increase I hope this trend continues at Wrightbus and they will be able to create even more jobs in future.”
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