The UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer announced earlier this year that it had chosen Ashford as the company’s global headquarters, following a national search with a pledge to work with universities and colleges to build local skills.
The planning application details how the new factory will be constructed within a 100-acre floodplain, which will provide an opportunity to restore the wetland and promote walking and cycling for the local community in this unique, natural setting in the heart of Ashford.
The innovative scheme would house a world-class production facility and company HQ, and by 2027, the company expects to employ over 1,500 staff.
Once fully operational, the proposed development will result in around 4,000 jobs being supported locally, including supply chain jobs, jobs supported by the spending of staff and the factory operation itself.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, executive leader of Ashford Borough Council, welcomed the news that this exciting project had reached an important landmark:
Gerry said: “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.
“The scheme 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 area 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 and will put Ashford on the map as a cycling hub.”
“The application will be subjected to a rigorous and meticulous planning process to ensure it meets the high standards upheld in this borough, which is at the heart of the Garden of England.”