Jo Bamford, boss of Ballymena-based Wrightbus, yesterday praised the legacy of Sir William Wright RIP, who has died at the age of 94, saying he created the platform for a business which was now leading the world in zero-emission technologies.
Mr Bamford purchased the Wrightbus business in 2019 and paid tribute to the vision of Sir William, who founded the firm in Ballymena with his father Robert Wright after World War 2.
“Sir William and his father were pioneers, of that there is no doubt,” said Mr Bamford. “The Wrightbus name is synonymous with everything they stood for and those values – problem-solving, hard work and never giving up – course through the business I run today.
“Sir William was fiercely loyal to this community and the fact his name is still held in such regard is testament to his relentless dedication.”
A true visionary, Sir William pioneered aluminium bus framing in Northern Ireland in 1976, the first low floor bus in 1992, first designed and built EV buses in 1999 and finally ensured the future of the business by leading the design of the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell double deck in 2015.
Wrightbus employs more than 1,000 people at its factory in Ballymena, Co Antrim. Its zero-emission battery electric bus was recently named as the most efficient in the world, with orders coming in from around the globe.
“Everyone here at Wrightbus should never forget how this business started and the sacrifices which were made to ensure it goes from strength to strength in the future,” said Jo Bamford. “Sir William is an indelible part of this fantastic story.”
May he rest in peace.