Brompton, Britain’s biggest bicycle manufacturer, is set to invest £100 million building a new factory and global HQ in Ashford, Kent.
The huge investment will more than double the firm’s production capacity and by 2027 the company hopes to employ 1,500 people at the site and support thousands more local jobs.
They new factory will be constructed on a floodplain in Ashford, which the company says will be transformed into a nature reserve.
Brompton intends to submit a planning application by the end of April. Ashford Borough Council has agreed to support the plans in principle.
Will Butler-Adams, CEO at Brompton, said:
“By choosing Ashford we can retain this strong connection to London and the UK, whilst being on the doorstep of Europe.”
Leader of Ashford Borough Council, Councillor Gerry Clarkson, said:
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring jobs and opportunities to the town.”
Made for cities, Brompton bikes are sold in 47 countries around the world and over 70% of production is exported. The company currently produces over 70,000 bikes a year and over 500,000 have hit the streets since the first bike was made in 1975 by inventor Andrew Ritchie.
The London-based manufacturer of the iconic Brompton folding bike, is also expanding its footprint within North America fuelled by incredible demand across its New York City store and regional retailers including REI as well as the launch of an e-commerce storefront, the bike manufacturer has experienced a greater than 50 percent increase in total units sold in the US over the past 12 months, a 76 percent increase over 2019.
US Consumer demand for Brompton bikes has been increasing exponentially over the past two years and there’s no sign of stopping. Year-over-year sales grew 44% for April through August 2021, having already grown 41% for the same time period in 2020, proving the “bike boom” impact of Covid-19 to be a durable trend. Inventory in the US has yet to recover since selling out in June 2020, even as twice-monthly product imports are up more than 50 percent year-over-year.
While demand intensifies through its online, owned retail, and distribution channels, Brompton plans to launch its second US flagship store in San Francisco later this year, with two additional brand store openings scheduled for 2022.
Will Butler-Adams, CEO at Brompton added:
“As we recover from the pandemic, one positive light has been that millions of people… have had the opportunity to see what urban living can be like with safe streets, clean air and a true sense of community, and people don’t want to go back.
“Since 1975 Brompton has been obsessed with delivering a useful, efficient urban transport tool. We have 45 years of experience and over 800,000 customers riding our bikes across the world.
“We are investing for growth in our production capability, new product development, outstanding customer experience and in inspiring the next generation to get on their bike! Juliet is a leader and communicator and is the perfect person to drive a movement for change across the USA, as we continue to expand our global footprint.”