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Wrightbus welcomes £12.7M new funding


The Government today (9 May) announced funding of £77million in new funding for projects developing clean transport technologies across the country, including £12.7million for Ballymena-based Wrightbus.


The schemes, which range from work on battery-powered buses, to a hydrogen-powered version of the iconic Ford Transit van, will support more than 4,400 jobs across the UK over the next decade, from "Bath to Ballymena".



The government stated the investiment "in the development of cutting-edge technologies in key industries will help deliver on the government’s priority to grow the UK economy".


Today's funding for the local bus manufacturer is made up of £6.4million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total of £12.7m for the company's 'NextGenZEBs' (Next Generation Zero Emission Buses) project. The project will produce a new, market-leading platform for battery and fuel cell electric driven buses.



Whilst demand is growing for zero-emission vehicles, there are currently few options available for heavy, multi-axle vehicles like large buses.


Project partners include: Queens University Belfast, Grayson Thermal Systems, Hutchinson Engineering, and Translink.


Industry and Economic Security Minister Nusrat Ghani said:


"Zero-emission cars, vans and taxis are increasingly common, but this cutting-edge work is going to mean clean, green vehicles designed and built in the UK can increasingly take on the toughest jobs too, from life-saving emergency services, to haulage and public transport.



"Our automotive industry keeps setting the pace globally and seizing the potential of new technologies. Today’s multi-million-pound boost will help them stay ahead of international competition, while delivering on our priority to grow the economy and support high-quality jobs."


Jo Bamford, Wrightbus executive chairman, said:


"When I took over the company, I was clear about my ambitions for it, both in terms of contributing to the UK's plans for net zero and in terms of supporting the British economy.


"We have always said that we will continue to drive forward with our zero-emissions vision."



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