1. ITV Report

Union wants urgent meeting as Wrightbus seeks investors

Ballymena-based Wrightbus is looking for new investors, causing uncertainty for workers. Credit: Presseye

Ballymena-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus has confirmed it is seeking new investors, after reports sparked concern among the workforce.

The trade union Unite has already said it is seeking an urgent meeting with the company.

“Wrightbus is a major employer, and reports that the company is seeking new investors have given rise to concerns among the workforce and the wider Ballymena community,” Regional Officer George Brash said.

“Unite is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to address the genuine concerns which today’s news reports have raised for our members.”

The workforce in Wrightbus deserve full transparency.

– Unite the union

The company has since confirmed that professional services firm Deloitte has been appointed to help with the process of looking for new investors.

A Wright Group statement says the move comes at a time of “increased complexity” in tailoring their products for a global customer base.

“Deloitte is working with the company to explore the potential of bringing on board an investor,” the statement outlined.

“This is to ensure that the skills and talents of our Ballymena workforce continue to deliver cutting-edge transport vehicles to our customers near and far.”

The company continues to win new business and this is evident in the recent uptake of our zero emission fuel cell vehicles bolstering a strong 2019 order book.

– Wright Group

Wrightbus was founded back in 1946 and has grown to employ around 1,400 people, making it one of Northern Ireland’s biggest privately-owned employers.

It is also one of the last major employers in the Ballymena area of Co Antrim, following a spate of closures in recent years – including building giant Patton, tobacco company JTI Gallaher, and tyre manufacturer Michelin.