Wrightbus, creating 40 new jobs.

Wrightbus, the Ballymena-based bus building company, has said it is creating more than 40 new jobs.

The manufacturer is planning to increase production of its zero-emission hydrogen buses.

Chairman Jo Bamford said there was interest from around the world for the double decker vehicles.

The company will launch a recruitment drive later this year to fill the positions, 19 of which will be apprenticeships.

The 46 roles include spray painters, welders, electrical engineers, technicians, accountants, sales staff and a project manager.

Mr Bamford said the new jobs would allow production to keep up with demand.

“There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone for many reasons,” he said.

“We have made huge strides in 2020, despite the year being paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic, yet 2021 is going to be the year hydrogen really makes its mark.

“We have already launched the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen double decker bus and this year will see us deliver significant orders into London, Birmingham, Belfast and other cities across the UK.”

Mr Bamford added that the recruitment would help Wrightbus to support the government’s investment pledge for at least 4,000 zero-emission buses on UK streets.

The hydrogen fuel will come from splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity from a County Antrim wind farm.

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