Wrightbus secures £50 million UKEF financing to turbocharge green exports

A assure from UK Export Finance (UKEF) has offered Northern Eire-based bus producer Wrightbus with £50 million in financing to assist its formidable exporting technique.

This Export Growth Assure sees the UK’s export credit score company assure 80 p.c of the mortgage from Barclays Financial institution.

This financing builds on earlier authorities assist introduced final yr, serving to ship on the Prime Minister’s precedence of preserving the financial system rising. The event offers Wrightbus important working capital assist in addition to a extra versatile technique to deploy the funds to assist its enterprise wants.

This can allow Wrightbus to ship orders to new markets, reminiscent of Germany and North America, in addition to further orders in current markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.

The announcement comes every week after Minister for Funding Lord Johnson visited Wrightbus’ website in Ballymena, County Antrim as a part of a wider go to to Northern Eire. There, he met buyers and main companies forward of the Northern Eire Funding Summit going down later within the yr.

Minister for Funding Lord Johnson mentioned: “Wrightbus is a incredible instance of a British enterprise seizing the huge exporting alternatives all over the world and embracing clear progress. UK Export Finance assist for Wrightbus will probably be an amazing enhance to its exporting journey, serving to the corporate to create extra native progress and jobs.

“That is the kind of success we are going to construct on at this autumn’s Northern Eire Funding Summit, which will probably be a catalyst for securing extra funding, creating extra jobs and empowering extra companies to grab exporting alternatives.”

The corporate generated 27% of its revenues from exports in 2022 and seeks to develop this by practically a fifth by the tip of 2023 thanks partially to the UK authorities’s assist. To facilitate this progress, Wrightbus plans to double its workforce by 2026, creating 1,000 new inexperienced jobs with a lot of the roles based mostly on the firm’s Ballymena hub.

The corporate’s hydrogen-powered, zero-carbon buses are in sturdy demand globally with over 600 buses of every type anticipated to be delivered by the tip of 2023, up from 450 final yr. Wrightbus now has the most important hydrogen fleet within the UK, with 100 buses in operation.

Jean-Marc Gales, Wrightbus CEO, mentioned: “UKEF and Barclays’ assist has been basic to the event of Wrightbus. The versatile merchandise go well with the wants of our enterprise, which is rising exponentially and requires monetary headroom.

“We’re enthusiastic about our subsequent section and dealing inside the Ballymena and wider Northern Eire group to ship revolutionary British expertise to the worldwide market.”

James Binns, World Head of Commerce and Working Capital, Barclays mentioned: “Barclays are proud to work alongside UKEF to allow British firms to get the aggressive edge in the case of exporting.

“This new funding builds on our earlier assist to Wrightbus, offering essential flexibility which can allow additional progress in exports and domestically, persevering with the very important pivot in the direction of zero-emission gross sales.”

Based mostly in County Antrim, Northern Eire, Wrightbus launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus in 2020, and likewise produces and exports electric-powered single and double-decker buses. The enterprise is aiming to fabricate 3,000 zero-emissions buses by 2024, comprising 10% of the UK’s complete fleet. Wrightbus final month acquired an extra £12 million in joint authorities and industry-backed funding.

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