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Local talent remains key to bus and coach builder’s success


Karen Hastings, Investment and Place Manager, MEABC, with James McKergan, ADL, Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, and the ADL Ballymena team.


Mid and East Antrim’s “rich pool of outstanding talent” continues to be a key benefit for inward investment companies, according to the Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey.

The Mayor recently visited Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), who attributed the “exceptional calibre” of the local workforce as its main draw when establishing a permanent base at Silverwood Business Park in Ballymena in 2019.


Part of international bus manufacturer NFI Group, ADL is the UK’s largest bus and coach builder and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of double-decker buses. The firm offers single and double deck buses under the Alexander Dennis brand as well as Plaxton coaches, with vehicles in service in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Despite the global pandemic, ADL has enjoyed continued growth and success over the past two years, thanks to its clear strategic focus to deliver lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicles with industry-leading reliability and world-class aftermarket support.


The Mayor said:


“As a pioneer in embracing the latest technology, ADL’s focus on striving for greener technologies and the development of products in this space has underpinned its growth in recent years – and indeed aligns very closely with Mid and East Antrim’s reputation as a hub for cleantech.

“We regularly hear from inward investors that our rich pool of outstanding talent across a wide range of sectors, skills, ages and backgrounds is one of their primary draws to Mid and East Antrim, so it is hugely encouraging to see that this has impacted so favourably on ADL over the past two years.

“Council has been proud to play our role in supporting ADL’s success through our Investment and Place Team and initiatives such as our Manufacturing Task Force over the past two years.

“We remain committed to doing everything we can to make the experience for companies like ADL who decide to locate in Mid and East Antrim as seamless as possible, from start to finish, and providing support to ensure their ongoing success.”



James McKergan, Head of Engineering at ADL in Ballymena, with Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey.

James McKergan, Head of Engineering at ADL in Ballymena, explained:


“Our decision to establish a permanent presence in Mid and East Antrim in 2019 has served us extremely well. It’s a superb location to invest in, do business and grow, and the council has continued to be a tremendous source of support and encouragement since our move here.”

With recruitment for ADL’s Ballymena site in 2019 initially focused on engineering-led roles, the company has since made several new hires to its commercial and finance teams at Silverwood and plans to recruit further in the coming months.


“Our local team here has been instrumental in supporting the firm’s international growth – so much so, in fact, that we have already expanded our headcount in Ballymena by around 20 per cent. Having come through the worst of the pandemic and moving into 2022 in a strong position, we have ambitious plans to further expand the team here this year.”

ADL will host a careers event in the Borough in the coming weeks to showcase the wide range of opportunities available at the company – with details to be published on its website soon.