Wrightbus has been awarded £50 million to boost exports of electric and hydrogen-powered buses (destination: Europe, Germany in particular, and North America) supported by a loan guarantee from the UK’s export credit agency.

The manufacturer plans to double its workforce in the next three years, creating 1,000 new local jobs. “Government backing will enable Wrightbus to sell its electric and hydrogen-powered, zero-emission buses to new markets in Europe and North America“, it is stated. Wrightbus generated 27% of its revenues from exports in 2022 and seeks to grow this by nearly a fifth by the end of 2023 thanks in part to the UK government’s support.

Wrightbus to export zero-emission buses in Europe and North America

Over 600 Wrightbus buses of all types expected to be delivered by the end of 2023, up from 450 last year. Wrightbus now has the largest hydrogen fleet in the UK, with 100 buses in operation.

A guarantee from UK Export Finance (UKEF) has provided Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus with £50 million in financing to support its ambitious exporting strategy. This Export Development Guarantee sees the UK’s export credit agency guarantee 80 percent of the loan from Barclays Bank.

“This will enable Wrightbus to deliver orders to new markets, such as Germany and North America, as well as additional orders in existing markets like Singapore and Hong Kong”, stated UK government in a press note.

To facilitate this growth, Wrightbus plans to double its workforce by 2026, creating 1,000 new green jobs with most of the roles based at the company’s Ballymena hub.

Wrightbus on an exporting journey

Minister for Investment Lord Johnson said: “Wrightbus is a fantastic example of a British business seizing the vast exporting opportunities around the world and embracing clean growth. UK Export Finance support for Wrightbus will be a great boost to its exporting journey, helping the company to create more local growth and jobs. This is the type of success we will build on at this autumn’s Northern Ireland Investment Summit, which will be a catalyst for securing more investment, creating more jobs and empowering more businesses to seize exporting opportunities.

Jean-Marc Gales, Wrightbus CEO, said: “UKEF and Barclays’ support has been fundamental to the development of Wrightbus. The flexible products suit the needs of our business, which is growing exponentially and requires financial headroom. We are excited about our next phase and working within the Ballymena and wider Northern Ireland community to deliver innovative British technology to the global market”.

James Binns, Global Head of Trade and Working Capital, Barclays said: “Barclays are proud to work alongside UKEF to enable British companies to get the competitive edge when it comes to exporting. This new funding builds on our previous support to Wrightbus, providing crucial flexibility which will enable further growth in exports and domestically, continuing the vital pivot towards zero-emission sales”.


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