Sir William Wright CBE, founder of Ballymena-based Wrightbus, has spoken of his delight ahead of being awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The award will be officially conferred on Sir William during a special ceremony at The Braid on Friday, January 18.
Elected Members agreed on the prestigious award in February 2018 in recognition of Sir William’s contribution to global business and the local economy, and his service to Mid and East Antrim.
It followed a motion proposed by the Mayor at the time, Councillor Paul Reid, and was seconded by Councillor Audrey Wales MBE.
Sir William said: “To receive the Freedom of the Borough is a great honour, particularly as it is bestowed from my birthplace, the area where my business is based, and a place I am proud to call home.
“I would like to thank the council for arranging this very special event.
“Over my lifetime I have had the privilege to take part in some memorable occasions and this event sits alongside the best of them.”
Current Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “The Freedom of the Borough is the highest accolade the council can award a citizen.
“I am delighted we will bestow this honour on Ballymena-based entrepreneur and pioneer Sir William Wright.”
Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said: “Sir William has provided employment to tens of thousands of our citizens over the years, showcased our area around the world, promoted and supported the education of our young people and provided a lifeline for many organisations and groups within Mid and East Antrim.
“This honour is our opportunity to recognise all of that fantastic work and, more importantly, to say ‘thank you’ to Sir William, from the people of Mid and East Antrim.”