WRIGHTBUS: This is the moment rain soaked ex-Wrightbus employees found out a deal to save their jobs was off

This is the precise moment hopeful ex-Wrightbus employees found out a deal designed to save their jobs was off.

Jo Bamford, son of J.C.B. Chairman, Lord Bamford, was bidding for Wrightbus when Jeff Wright, who owns the factory premises, announced the sale had not been completed.

Ex-Wrightbus employees gather in the rain in Ballymena to learn their fate.

Ex-Wrightbus employees gather in the rain in Ballymena to learn their fate.

Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash, said repeated attempts to meet with former Wrightbus director, Jeff Wright, continued to go "unanswered".

“We understand that an outline deal had been arrived at yesterday but that this morning further changes were made by Jeff Wright which threw the entire negotiations into uncertainty.

“For our part Unite has sought to engage directly with Jeff Wright but as yet our request for a meeting has gone unanswered. We are calling on all sides, in particular Jeff Wright, to do the right thing and adopt a sensible approach that will open the door to a future for these workers”, said Mr. Brash.

“This morning hundreds of Wrightbus workers and their families are standing in the rain outside the factory gates.

"They are standing in the hope they will hear that a deal has been done that will guarantee their jobs.

“These are workers who are already having difficult conversations with their children about what Christmas will bring.

“As these negotiations are being dragged out by horse-trading, the feeling of indignation among these workers, whose sole objective is to get back to work, is rising," he added.

Jeff Wright, former Wrightbus director, owns the premises where the factory is located but this is under the umbrella of a separate company and therefore not controlled by the administrators.

"The failure by Mr Bamford's Ryse Hydrogen company to complete the deal to purchase Wrightbus is deeply regrettable especially after the exhaustive efforts all of us involved have gone to in providing every possible support," said Jeff Wright.

"For the record the entire premises at Glagorm including the factory, fixtures and fittings as well as the land was agreed to be made available to all bidders, either to lease or purchase," added Mr. Wright.

"I hope that Deloittes (administrators) have not been side-tracked by the Bamford engagement and can now put their energies into delivering a deal by working with the remaining bidders to secure the future of Wrightbus and the jobs in Ballymena."

Wrightbus was put into administration last month; approximately 1,200 jobs are at risk.

The future of the business was cast into doubt because of a downturn in the need for buses in the United Kingdom.