Wrightbus in Ballymena is one of Europe's leading providers of buses, with a reputation for high quality design and world class engineering. The company employs 1,000 people in Ballymena making it one of the largest private sector employers in Northern Ireland.
The company has just announced an order worth £55million from British bus operator Arriva. This is a massive order for 334 buses, 204 double-decker and 130 single-deck, and it is the biggest order from a UK operator since the start of the economic downturn. Arriva is one of the largest transport organisations in europe and in the UK alone it has 6,800 buses, of which 1,800 were built by Wrightbus.
Last year the firm unveiled the design for a modern-day version of London's famous Routemaster bus and these buses wil be in service for the London 2012 Olympics.
But Wrightbus produces vehicles for places that are much further afield. In September they won a £21million contract to produce and export 300 double-decker bus kits for Singapore.
Congratulations to William Wright, managing director Mark Nodder, and all those who have made this such a successful company. Ulster needs more businesses like this.