Ballymena bus company Wrightbus has delivered its first buses since the firm’s collapse and subsequent sale to entrepreneur Jo Bamford.
New owners Bamford Bus Company said it’s looking to the future as it rebuilds the bus maker.
The first 36 units of a 55 bus order were delivered to First Group for use in Leeds, in a deal worth around £13m. The buses will be used all over the north of England city.
The company is also recruiting for staff but has not said exactly how many jobs it plans to fill in the short-term. Around 1,400 people were made redundant when the business first went into administration. The sale to Jo Bamford was confirmed last month.
New Wrightbus chief executive Buta Atwal said: “The delivery of the first of these new buses, the first sale since the acquisition of Wrightbus by the Bamford Bus Company, is a clear signal of our intent to drive forward the Wrightbus business and grow the company.
“With the Government’s recent announcement of a new national bus strategy in 2020, in which de-carbonisation will play a key role, we enter an exciting period during which Wrightbus has the opportunity to lead the way given our track record in manufacturing state of the art zero emission hydrogen buses as well as electric and hybrid models. We are looking to the future with much optimism.”
The company said: “The completion and delivery of the new buses marks the beginning of a new phase in the history of the renowned Northern Irish bus manufacturer, as the Bamford Bus Company management team focus on stabilising the business, using their expertise and experience to take forward the opportunity to grow the business and continue to promote Wrightbus across the world.
“Following the completion of these new sales, Wrightbus’s new owners expect a full production line to be back up and running in the new year.”