Leading global bus manufacturer expands into Mid and East Antrim

The UK’s largest bus and coach builder and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of double-decker buses has established a permanent base in Mid and East Antrim.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 1:00 pm
Noel Mulholland, Head of Michelin Development UK, Manus Kelly, Andrew Henderson, Chris Burbage, Colin Davidson, Michael Todd, Adrian Robinson, Ricky Young, James McKergan, Darren McCormick, all ADL and Mayor Cllr Peter Johnston

The UK’s largest bus and coach builder and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of double-decker buses has established a permanent base in Mid and East Antrim.

Alexander Denis Limited (ADL) said its decision to locate to Silverwood Business Park in Ballymena was influenced by the ease of doing business and the “exceptional calibre of talent” in the Borough.

Part of international bus manufacturer NFI Group, ADL offers single and double deck buses under the Alexander Dennis brand as well as Plaxton coaches, with vehicles in service in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

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As a pioneer in embracing the latest technology, ADL has brought a wide range of low, ultra-low and zero emission buses to market. The firm has more than tripled its revenue in the last 10 years, with an increasing proportion resulting from its expanding international footprint.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston said: “Mid and East Antrim has a strong, proactive Economic Development team offering a wide range of tailored support and assistance. As a Council, we are committed to doing everything we can to make the experience for companies who decide to locate here as seamless, fully supported and successful as possible, from start to finish.

“As already discovered by ADL, our rich pool of talent locally further strengthens our offering as an outstanding location.

ADL’s history and heritage of design, engineering and manufacturing excellence spans more than a century and is an ideal fit for our Borough, with the added benefit of support through Michelin Development.”

James McKergan, Head of Engineering at ADL, attributes this success to the organisation’s clear strategic focus: “Our growth stems from our clear strategic focus to deliver lightweight, fuel efficient vehicles with industry-leading reliability and world-class aftermarket support.”

Mr McKergan continued: “The Council could not have been more helpful and supportive in assisting us once we had taken the decision to set up in Ballymena. They put us in contact with key stakeholders from Michelin Development Ltd to discuss office space opportunities on their former site, and we quickly decided once we saw Silverwood that this was the ideal location for us.

“One of the benefits of our new office at Silverwood Business Park is that we have plenty of space, scope and ambition to grow the business. We already have 24 highly skilled and well-paid engineering roles based here and have strong ambitions to grow our headcount further, with plans to recruit for other non-engineering roles in due course.

“We have found that Mid and East Antrim is a fantastic place in which to do business – not least because having a permanent base here enables us to have access to the exceptional calibre of talent we have discovered in the local labour market.”

ADL’s move to Silverwood Business Park was supported by Michelin Development Ltd, which provides development funding to help boost economic growth.

Noel Mulholland, Head of Michelin Development UK, added: “Michelin Development is delighted to have been able to support ADL to set up in Silverwood Business Park, formerly a Michelin manufacturing site. This move helps to build on the bus building expertise that has been associated with the area for so long and provides exciting job opportunities for local people across the Borough.”

Small and medium sized businesses in the County Antrim area, excluding Belfast, operating in manufacturing or business-to-business sectors, are eligible to apply to Michelin Development for unsecured and subsidised loans to support a viable business plan that will create sustainable jobs.

Grants are also available to attract inward investment from international businesses with a viable expansion proposition to create sustainable jobs in the Ballymena area. For more details visit www.MichelinDevelopment.co.uk

To find out more about Mid and East Antrim as a destination in which to live, work, learn, visit and invest in; visit investmideastantrim.com

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