Belfast Telegraph

Disused Wrightbus sites in Galgorm go on the market for £2.9m

Sale: Wrightbus composite building
Sale: Wrightbus composite building
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Members of the family behind bus manufacturer Wrightbus are selling off two premises at its Galgorm site for nearly £3m.

Wrightbus has said it's facing problems and is in talks with investors about a support plan for the business.

Now members of the Wright family have put two premises - its Metallix and composite buildings - at Galgorm on the market through estate agents OKT.

The Metallix building is on the market for £1.2m, while the composites factory has an asking price of £1.7m.

Wrights Group yesterday said it would not be commenting on the sale as the buildings do not belong to the company.

However, it's understood members of the Wright family own the buildings and that they had been leased to the company. The buildings are no longer in full use after the company relocated much of its operation to the nearby former home of tobacco giant JTI Gallaher's, which closed down two years ago. Brian Turtle of selling agents OKT said he had already shown prospective buyers around the premises, just one day after they'd gone on the market.

"They are both good buildings which have had a lot of money spent on them over the past five years."

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And he said he was confident the buildings would be sold quickly. "There is a massive scarcity of good factory space in Northern Ireland. We are not pessimisitic at all - these are two buildings that will sell, and sell well."

He added: "There was a big rush before the last date for Brexit from people to acquire storage space in NI and elsewhere in the UK for goods coming in from the EU including the Republic, and that may happen again."

Three weeks ago Wrightbus announced that it had appointed professional services giant Deloitte to help bring new investors on board as it confirmed it was facing difficulties.

In a statement last week, Wrightbus said: "We can confirm that we have progressed onto the next stage of discussions with a number of interested parties.

"The board will be reviewing these proposals in the coming days and is working night and day to retain jobs in Ballymena to ensure long-term growth for Wrightbus, our supply chain and the wider community."

Last week's statement appeared to rubbish speculation of an imminent round of redundancies at the Ballymena firm.

Belfast Telegraph