Folding bike maker Brompton Bicycle has unveiled plans for a new eco-friendly factory and headquarters in Ashford, Kent, which will help it double its capacity to more than 200,000 bikes a year .
The company aims to open the new factory in 2027, moving away from west London where it opened its first factory from two railway arches in Bollo Lane, Acton in 1986.
Its current Greenford plant, which will continue to operate until 2030, was opened in 2015 and has seen the company increase production to 100,000 bikes per year.
The new factory and headquarters complex, designed by architect Guy Hollaway of Hollaway Studios, will be located on a 100-acre floodplain, where Ashford City Council aims to create a 60-acre public nature reserve including a community bike path.
Sustainability is central to the design in terms of energy use, insulation, use of natural light and air circulation as well as construction materials used, among others.
As part of the movement plan established for the site, no new parking spaces will be created, staff and visitors are encouraged to cycle, walk or use public transport to reach the factory, which will also have a visitors’ centre, a museum and a café.
The development is being undertaken in partnership with Ashford Borough Council and Quinn Estates, with the town of Kent being home to one of the first Brompton cycle hire docks at Ashford International Station since 2014.
Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams said: “As we face climate change, combined with poor mental and physical health in our cities, where most of the world’s population lives, we must adapt.
“There has been a global realization after the pandemic that we need to change the way we live in our cities, to design them around the people who live there, not the automobile. Brompton has an important role to play in supporting this transition, but we need more space to innovate and create the products of the future.
“London was the inspiration for the Brompton and our success is in large part due to our diverse and skilled staff who continue to nurture and grow our business. By choosing Ashford, we can retain that strong connection to London and the UK. United, while being at the gates of Europe.
“We have a long way to go with the planning and development of the new site, but we are grateful for the support of Ashford Borough Council, Hollaway Studios and Quinn Estates in realizing our combined ambition to build this factory of revolutionary and durable bikes of the future.”
Councilor Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, added: “This represents a unique opportunity for the borough to develop a partnership with an internationally renowned cycling brand, which will bring jobs and opportunities to the community. city, while making the city’s bike manufacturing heritage.
“The arrival of the new plant will allow Ashford to realize a long-standing ambition to create a wetland park that will improve the environment and encourage more people to explore the neighborhood in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. . Ashford has set the pace in Kent for inward investment and this new factory will bring many positive benefits to the region and put Ashford on the map as a cycling hub.