There are only hours left to save Wrightbus says Jo Bamford - deal collapses after Jeff Wright asked for a 'significantly higher sum of money'

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A deal to save the jobs of 1,200 ex-Wrightbus employees has been thwarted because former Wrightbus director, Jeff Wright, is demanding a "higher sum of money", according to J.C.B. Chairman, Jo Bamford.

Mr. Bamford said he made an offer to purchase the Wrightbus factory and land on Thursday morning but explained the deal collapsed when former director, Jeff Wright, demanded a "significantly higher sum of money".

A former Wrightbus employees waits anxiously in the rain near the site of the factory in Ballymena. (Photo: Pacemaker)

A former Wrightbus employees waits anxiously in the rain near the site of the factory in Ballymena. (Photo: Pacemaker)

“At 10am this morning I made an offer to the Wright family to match the asking price for the Wrightbus factory and land," said Mr. Bamford.

"This includes a sum to match the amount that the factory and associated land was purchased for two years ago from JTI (J.T.I. Gallaher - a former cigarette factory in Ballymena).

"Mr Wright has since refused this offer and has now asked for a significantly higher sum of money."

Mr. Bamford stressed he wants to save the jobs of all the workers and ensure the future of the business but unless a deal is agreed before the end of the day the business will be lost.

Former Wrightbus employees wait anxiously in the rain near the site of the factory in Ballymena. (Photo: Pacemaker)

Former Wrightbus employees wait anxiously in the rain near the site of the factory in Ballymena. (Photo: Pacemaker)

"We want to save this business and put it on a sustainable footing, but regrettably if this offer is not agreed today, we understand that the business will go into liquidation tomorrow.”

Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash (left) talks to ex-Wrightbus employees in the rain on Thursday. (Photo: Pacemaker)

Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash (left) talks to ex-Wrightbus employees in the rain on Thursday. (Photo: Pacemaker)