Wrightbus has been awarded £11.2million in government funding develop and manufacture low-cost hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses.
The Ballymena-based bus manufacturer is one of three UK firms to be awarded funding.
The three projects in Cwmbran, Warwickshire, and Ballymena will receive more than £54 million of funding from UK government and industry and are forecast to secure nearly 10,000 jobs across the UK.
Announcing the funding, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain. These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said: “Northern Ireland and the local economy thrives on innovation, manufacturing and technological advancements, leading the charge in allowing us to reach our ambitious goal of a net zero future by 2050.
“With a landmark investment of £11.2 million this will enable Wrightbus to become a center of excellence for zero-emission technology in the heart of Ballymena.
“This is outstanding news for the people of Northern Ireland, protecting more than 1,000 skilled jobs and creating more than 3,000 additional jobs over the next 10 years. This will continue to level up our local economy, allowing Wrightbus to continue producing the next generation of world-leading hydrogen buses.”
Jo Bamford, Wrightbus Executive Chairman said, “This funding will allow us to create a center of excellence for zero-emission technology in Ballymena, enabling us to produce our world-leading hydrogen buses at a higher volume and lower cost than ever before. This will safeguard more than 1,000 skilled jobs over the next 10 years, giving significant boost to the wider economy in Northern Ireland.”