Vince Cable and Nick Clegg Visit Brompton Factory

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Brompton Bicycle Ltd played host this Tuesday morning to the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Clegg and CableAs the UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer, the factory in West London was deemed an ideal venue to launch the Manufacturing Growth Review, through which the government will promote manufacturing in the UK and encourage more young people to consider careers in engineering and manufacturing.

The two ministers were greeted by Managing Director William Butler-Adams and Brompton founder, Andrew Ritchie MBE, at 07:30 when production was already in full swing. After changing into safety shoes in Reception, the tour party was then shown around the various sections of the factory including Engineering and Brazing, Stores, Pre- Assembly, and Assembly.

Brompton Bicycle has been championing UK manufacturing ever since full-time production started in 1987 and has not only invested heavily in state of the art machinery but also in the training of young people through their in-house apprenticeship scheme. The ministers got too see both of these first hand, including the newly installed CMM machine, and discussed with members of the brazing team the ins and outs of training to be a fully fledged framebuilder.

Following the tour, the ministers were given demonstrations of some of the projects that the Brompton Design team are currently working on and then held a brief question and answer session with members of the press.

Will Butler-Adams said of the visit: “We are always delighted to get involved with any kind of initiative that encourages people to take a second look at engineering and manufacturing as a career. Many are all too quick to write off UK manufacturing as dead and buried but if you look a little closer you’ll find a lot of small, entrepreneurial companies that are exciting, innovative and prosperous.”

January 25, 2011

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