William Wright receives Knighthood at Buckingham Palace

Sir William Wright is made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.  Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Sir William Wright is made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The founder of Ballymena bus firm Wrights Group has received a Knighthood from HRH the Prince of Wales at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace last week.

Sir William Wright received the honour in recognition of his services to the bus industry and the UK economy in a business career that has spanned more than seven decades.

Sir William Wright is made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.  Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Sir William Wright is made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Sir William said: “It was a great thrill and an honour to visit Buckingham Palace last week to receive my knighthood from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.”

Founding the original company with his father in 1946, Sir William has transformed what was a small family business into one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers.

Wrightbus now manufactures a range of technologically innovative vehicles that are in service across the globe.

The energetic nonagenarian to this day heads up the alternative driveline division at Wrightbus.

In 2001 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to industry and the community and he was later promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for services to the bus industry.

For many years Sir William has been a leading proponent of the development of environmentally friendly technologies, in particular for the reduction of fossil fuel usage and harmful emissions in buses.

His vision is to improve air quality in towns and cities in the UK and across the globe.

By continuing to take an active role in the business, he has pioneered the design and development of alternative fuel sources for public transport vehicles, including hybrid technologies, electric and hydrogen.