A British bicycle company has announced that it is planning to build its new Headquarters in Ashford.
Brompton, who are most famous for their folding bike, is set to build a new £100 million factory and global HQ in Ashford, Kent.
The UKs biggest bike manufacturer say that the huge investment will more than double the firm’s production capacity up to 200,000 bikes per year and create hundreds of jobs in the area.
The new factory and HQ complex, designed by architect Guy Hollaway of Hollaway Studios, will be located within on a 100-acre floodplain, where Ashford Borough Council aims to create a 60-acre public nature reserve including a community cycle path.
Its current factory in Greenford, which will continue to operate until 2030, was opened in 2015 and enabled the company to increase its output to 100,000 bikes annually.
The company aims to open the new facility in 2027, moving away from west London where it opened its first factory from two railway arches in Bollo Lane, Acton in 1986.
The development is being undertaken in partnership with Ashford Borough Council and the infamous ‘Quinn Estates’, with the Kent town being home since 2014 to one of the earliest Brompton Bike Hire docks at Ashford International Station.
Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams said: “As we face climate change, combined with poor mental & physical health in our cities, where most of the world population live, we need to adapt”.
Perhaps that adaption includes building huge factories on Kent’s floodplains?
Councillor Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, added: “This represents a once in a generation opportunity for the borough to develop a partnership with an internationally renowned cycling brand, that will bring jobs and opportunities to the town, whilst returning the town’s bicycle manufacturing heritage.
“The arrival of the new factory will enable Ashford to fulfil a long-held ambition to create a wetland park that will enhance the environment and encourage more people to explore the district in a sustainable, eco-focused manner. Ashford has set the pace in Kent for inward investment and this new factory will bring many positive benefits to the local area, and will put Ashford on the map as a cycling hub.”