Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and UUP Leader, has “wholeheartedly congratulated” Ballymena-based businessman Mr William Wright on receiving a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours.
Assemblyman Swann said the “very worthy honour” was a clear recognition of Mr Wright’s “entrepreneurial genius in guiding his company, Wright Bus, into becoming one of the world’s leading producers of quality buses”.
Assemblyman Swann added: “Time and again over the years, we have to praise the genius of Wright Bus after Mr Wright’s Ballymena-based company demonstrates that its products are in demand across the globe.
“As a community, we recall when the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, arrived at the factory to unveil the prototype bus which replaced the traditional London Routemaster.”
Assemblyman Swann said the success of Wright Bus of Ballymena in landing such orders and maintaining jobs at the company were yet further testaments to the unique standard of excellence of the Wright product, and especially Mr Wright’s ability to read the market place correctly.
Mr Swann added: “Mr Wright has developed Wright Bus into one of Northern Ireland’s best companies and this knighthood for him is thoroughly deserved for the magnificent contribution he has made particularly to employment in the Ballymena area and the wider North Antrim constituency.
“The quality of its product, its ability to read the market place and its dedication to what it does have all brought about success after success.
“This continuous flow of orders also shows that private enterprise is alive and well and living in Ballymena. Both myself and the people of Ballymena are justifiably proud of the commercial success of Wright Bus, and of Mr Wright in particular.
“This knighthood is a very welcome boost for the local economy, not just in Ballymena, but throughout the entire North Antrim constituency. I congratulate Mr Wright on this tremendous honour. Indeed, the Wright family in particular are to be commended on developing their company over the years to becoming a firm of international standing.
“Since the firm was established in the mid 1940s, it has continued to bring important employment to Ballymena. On the international front, its success in winning overseas orders, such as in Hong Kong, has made Wright Bus an ambassador for quality manufacturing in our Province.
“At a time when Northern Ireland has been experiencing the gloom of job losses in the local economy, this honour for Wright Bus’s founder is a very welcome boost for the North Antrim constituency in particular given the challenges which our local economy has faced in the past.
“I also wish the company every success in the future in winning more national and international orders,” said Assemblyman Swann.