UK bike manufacturer Brompton is taking the first step towards creating a “revolutionary” new factory in Ashford, Kent, and will be submitting planning permission for the development.
The new factory will be constructed on a floodplain, which will provide an opportunity to restore the wetland and promote walking and cycling for the local community. The scheme will house a production facility and will become the Brompton global headquarters, and by 2027, the company expects to employ over 1,500 staff.
The development will have “outstanding” insulation, utilise natural light and airflow to minimise energy consumption, and use solar and ground source energy to contribute to its energy demands. Brompton said the new factory will be built to last, with construction methods optimised, embodied carbon minimised, and materials responsibly sourced.
The development will support the company in delivering 1.5°C aligned emission reduction targets as part of its net zero ambitions.
Designed by architect Guy Hollaway, the new development will be situated within a 100-acre floodplain. Ashford Borough Council plans to transform 60 acres of the site into a rewilded public nature reserve with a community cycle path and a network of trails.
The travel plan for the site aims to see no new parking spaces created. A wide cycle/pedestrian way will allow employees and visitors to walk and cycle straight into the facility, which will include a visitors’ centre, museum and café.
Brompton will partner with Ashford Borough Council and Quinn Estates to bring the vision to life, investing in the local community through the creation of a skilled workforce, as well as using the museum and educational space on the site to facilitate outreach with local schools and universities.
Brompton has had a relationship with Ashford since 2014 as one of the first Brompton Bike Hire docks was installed at Ashford International Station, which will be expanded as part of the plans.
Brompton’s current factory in Greenford, West London will continue to operate until at least 2030.
Will Butler-Adams OBE, CEO at Brompton, said: “As we face climate change, combined with poor mental and 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.
Read more: British cycling brand Parcours appoints Amy Marks as marketing manager
“We have a long journey ahead with the planning and development of the new site, but we’re thankful for the support of Ashford Borough Council, Hollaway Studios and Quinn Estates towards achieving our combined ambition to build this revolutionary and sustainable bicycle factory of the future.”