The UK’s leading bicycle manufacturer, Brompton, has revealed plans for a groundbreaking new factory in Ashford, Kent to support the company’s continued growth. This represents the latest in a long line of major investment within the borough and it is projects such as this that continue to put Ashford on the map as a place to live, work and invest.
Below, we outline what the proposed facility will offer, what impact it will have on the surrounding area and reveal what those involved in the project have to say.
What are the plans?
Brompton has announced its plans to submit a planning application for the development with aspirations to open in 2027. Designed by award-winning architect Guy Hollaway, the new factory will be situated in a unique setting and will restore wetland. As well as becoming the company’s new Global Headquarters, the site will be home to a state-of-the-art production facility, which has the potential to produce over 200,000 bikes per year once fully operational. The wider facility will also include a visitor centre, museum and café.
In the announcement it was explained that the factory “will enable Brompton’s future growth ambitions as they continue to transform the way that people move in cities around the world.”
What will the impact be on the local area?
The proposals represent a £100 million investment and it is estimated that the site will contribute £270 million per annum of Gross Value Added. It is also estimated that as the new Brompton Global Headquarters, the site will support around 4,000 jobs locally including head office staff, supply chain jobs and those involved in the factory operation. Having a site such as this in Ashford will also help to develop a highly skilled workforce for the future, which Brompton intends to achieve by collaborating with local schools, colleges and universities across Kent.
Sustainability is also central to the proposals, making use of a 100-acre floodplain and supporting biodiversity across the site. As part of the plans, Ashford Borough Council intends to turn 60 acres of the site into a rewilded public nature reserve with a community cycle path and walking trails. The factory itself will also support green ambitions by using renewable energy such as solar and ground source, as well as low carbon materials and methods used in its construction.
Will Butler-Adams OBE, CEO at Brompton:
“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. There has been a global realisation post-pandemic that we need to change how we live in our cities, to design them around the people that live in them, not the automobile. Brompton has a large part to play in supporting that transition, but we need to have 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 is due to our diverse and skilled staff who continue to nurture and develop our company. By choosing Ashford we can retain this strong connection to London and the UK, whilst being on the doorstep of Europe.”
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council:
“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.”
Developed by GRE Assets, Riverside Park is a major residential development in Ashford, Kent. To find out more about the opportunities available, get in touch with our team here.