Wrightbus hydrogen buses receive £11.2 million in government fundsMarch 25, 2021
The company received the money to support the development of the H2 technology.
The development of Wrightbus hydrogen buses just got an important shot in the arm as the Ballymena-based bus manufacturer will receive £11.2 million from the government.
The company is one of three firms in the United Kingdom to receive the government funding.
The British government is investing a total of £54 million in H2 technology development, including the amount meant for the Wrightbus hydrogen buses. According to the government, the investment will generate 10,000 jobs throughout the United Kingdom.
The company has already been hiring as the demand for H2 powered buses has been growing and is expected to continue in that direction. It recently added a number of new positions to its workforce at the start of the year. According to Jo Bamford, chair of Wrightbus, that additional funding will not only safeguard the jobs that have already been created, but it will also open up new positions.
The government funds are aimed to make Wrightbus hydrogen buses more affordable to produce.
The idea is to use the money to further develop technology to manufacture low-cost hydrogen powered public transportation buses at the Ballymena facility.
The manufacturer has already received an order for zero-emission and low-emission vehicles from the company. According to Bamford, the funds will also be used toward the installation of a center of excellence for zero-emission technology at the Ballymena site.
“It will safeguard more than 1,000 skilled jobs and will allow us to create more than 3,000 additional jobs over the next 10 years, giving a significant boost to the wider economy in Northern Ireland,” said Bamford.
Beyond the funding for the Wrightbus hydrogen buses, other projects to receive the funds include one in Warwickshire in England, as well as one in Cwmbran in Wales. The investments were announced by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. The general purpose of the funds beyond boosting employment opportunities is to promote technologies that will help the United Kingdom move closer to its climate targets. Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in that effort to decarbonize.