Construction News

Mon June 27 2022

Related Information

Brompton Bicycle plans 21st Century Bourneville

28 Feb Brompton, manufacturer of folding bicycles, is planning to relocate its factory from west London to marshland near Ashford in Kent.

Built on a marsh, the factory will be on stilts
Built on a marsh, the factory will be on stilts

The new £100m global headquarters planned for Brompton Bicycle have been described by architect Hollaway Studio as “a true 21st Century Bourneville”.

Aiming to open in 2027, the building will be  situated within 100 acres of unused wetlands, which will be transformed by Ashford Borough Council into a rewilded public nature reserve and community cycle path. Brompton has developed its plans with Ashford Borough Council and landowner Quinn Estates. The proposed site is alongside the designer outlet shopping conplex and Ashford International Station.

The building desgined shows it circled by a publicly accessible cycleway, weaving in and out of the building, providing views of the site and the factory processes. The journey ends at the roof, where a Brompton Museum, recreational areas and a shared canteen for workers and visitors can be found.

Brompton’s current factory in Greenford, west London will continue to operate until at least 2030. The proposals for the new Ashford factory were agreed in principle by the cabinet of Ashford Borough Council at a meeting last Thursday. Approval will be sought from full council this week, on 3rd March. If approved, they will then be subject to formal planning approval, with an application expected to be submitted towards the end of April.

The iconic bicycle...
The iconic bicycle...

Brompton chief executive Will Butler-Adams 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.

...folds away
...folds away

Related Information

"By choosing Ashford we can retain this strong connection to London and the UK, whilst being on the doorstep of Europe. 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.”

Ashford Borough Council leader Gerry Clarkson added: “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.”

Architect Guy Hollaway said: "Our aim was to explore the question – what is the factory of the future? The challenge in designing for Brompton this new sustainable factory located on a 100-acre wetland site was to rethink both the concept of a factory while creating a symbiotic relationship between industry and nature. This ambitious project is truly ground-breaking in its approach and aspires to act as an exemplar to demonstrate how industry can embrace sustainable methods of transport and create an architecture that reflects the ethos of Brompton bicycles."

Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

MPU

Click here to view more construction news »