Red bus

Double-decker red bus

Theresa May visits Alexander Dennis to mark £1.7bn UKEF milestone

The PM will be given a tour of the firm's Guildford plant today as the company starts work on a lucrative export deal to supply red double-decker buses to Mexico.

Prime minister Theresa May will today (23 Aug) visit bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis as it secures a £44m funding package from UK Export Finance (UKEF) to export iconic red double-decker buses to Mexico City.

May will tour the company’s Guildford factory and meet staff constructing 90 low-emission buses that will reduce congestion and pollution on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s answer to The Mall. The buses will begin transporting passengers along the historic route from the end of this year.

Alexander Dennis’ financial funding is part of £1.7bn provided to businesses to help them win overseas contracts by UKEF since it became part of the Department for International Trade. The financial support has helped 137 British companies expand their businesses, provide jobs and secure major global contracts since the department was created.

The figures, announced for the first time today, shows British business are making the most of opportunities outside of the EU and making their mark on the global stage.

May said: “We are building a truly global Britain by helping UK companies win multi-million pound contracts to export their products across the globe, and supporting high value jobs here in this country.

“Since last summer, the government has provided over £1.7bn of backing for contracts for goods and services and will continue to maximise investment in the UK and seek exciting new opportunities ahead.

“From exporting iconic red double-decker buses to Mexico, cutting-edge MRI systems to Australia or rail equipment to Bangkok, each one is an example of a great British success story and shows the UK is leading the way as a great, global trading nation.”

The contract announced today was secured with a 1 billion Mexican Pesos (£44m) agreement by UKEF to guarantee the deal. It was the first contract that UKEF has supported in Mexican Pesos after expanding its range of currencies to 40 last year – ensuring foreign buyers choose UK companies and products.

The deal helps support 320 jobs at the Alexander Dennis factory in Guildford, and an additional 1,000 at their Falkirk site, as well as throughout the supply chain and sites in Scarborough, Anston and Skelmsersdale.

International trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “As an international economic department, the Department for International Trade is putting export finance at the heart of trade promotion.

"The £1.7bn in financial support since last summer has helped 137 companies secure deals around the world, in 40 local currencies including the Mexican Peso. This has made buying from the UK more attractive than ever.

“There is global appetite for British goods and expertise, and UK firms such as Alexander Dennis are taking advantage of the opportunities in fast growing markets like Mexico, securing deals that will boost the UK’s exports and safeguard jobs back home.”

Colin Robertson, chief executive of ADL, said: “It is hugely exciting to know that ADL’s signature red double-decker buses will soon be transporting Mexico City’s residents in style and comfort.

"As a global double-decker leader with fleets of our vehicles across the world, we see the positive impact these vehicles can have in improving the transport infrastructure, congestion and air quality in the world’s busiest cities.

“Our ability to offer finance from UK Export Finance in Mexican Pesos was a significant benefit to our buyer, helping us win this major contract.”