Frog Bikes, the makers of innovative lightweight children’s bicycles, has opened its new factory in Gwent.
The 60,000 sq ft factory premises on the Torfaen Monmouthshire border at Mamhilad Park Estate is the firm’s first manufacturing base in the UK and could create fifty new jobs.
Jerry Lawson, co-founder of Frog Bikes, said: “We are absolutely delighted to celebrate the opening. It will enable us to be more responsive to the market, have more control over quality, introduce innovations faster, reduce our environmental footprint, and create jobs to benefit the local economy.
“There were times during 2015 when we couldn’t keep up with demand, and customers were left disappointed. We recognised that the time had come to re-shore our production model.”
Mark Emmerson, Head of Global Trade & Receivable Finance for HSBC UK which backed the move, said: “Throughout HSBC’s partnership with Frog Bikes, we’ve been delighted to provide tailored funding and guidance to support Shelley and Jerry’s ambition to launch the UK production of their bikes.
“Frog Bikes is an outstanding example of an entrepreneurial business evolving to meet the needs of its customers, as well as looking for solutions to support the local economy. It’s fantastic to now see the project reach completion and we have no doubt that the new facility will support the company’s continued growth.”
Welsh Government Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said: “I am delighted Frog Bikes, a highly innovative and specialist business, chose to locate its first manufacturing facility in Wales. The company is a very welcome addition to our advanced materials and manufacturing sector and I am pleased Welsh Government support will help create a significant number of new jobs. I wish the company every success in the future as it grows the business in Wales.”
James Crawford, CEO of Mamhilad Park Estate’s owners Johnsey Estates said: “We’re delighted that Frog Bikes decided to set up with us here at Mamhilad Park Estate. We had suitable available space, there are very good transport links and they immediately wanted the space even as they saw it after dark back in about November last year, and loved it from the outset!”
Visitors, including Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds MP were able to meet the assembly team, and see first-hand how the lightweight bikes are made. From threading spokes into wheel hubs, truing the wheels, adding brakes, gears, cables, handlebars and saddles, right through to the final checks before bikes are boxed and go out to stores – there are over 120 different component parts to each bicycle.
Some of Frog’s latest models were on display as well, including the Team Sky range and new for 2016 the Union Jack design supported by Rio Olympian Joanna Rowsell.