Today the last Nottingham-built frame rolls off the Raleigh production line. Tomorrow the plant is split into lots and auctioned off

End of an era

Naturally, this is a big news story for Nottingham, and BikeBiz has fielded four or five calls a day this week from Midlands media outlets. The Nottingham newspapers, in particular, are having a field day, treating the story as a major blow to the city’s employment prospects.

BikeBiz editor Carlton Reid has been stressing that the closure of the frame production facility isn’t a panic measure but a case of bowing to the inevitable. Aluminium frames can’t be produced in high enough numbers in Europe and – if anything – the biggest surprise is that Raleigh have perservered so long with UK frame manufacturing when sourcing from overseas is clearly so much more cost-effective. Albeit regrettable, Carlton has been telling Midlands journos, the Raleigh transformation from bike builder to bike importer makes perfect business sense. Raleigh have recently been sourcing half of their frames from overseas anyway.

Tomorrow’s auction starts at 11.00am.

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