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Pontypool Manufacturer Creating New Jobs to Meet Record Demand

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An award winning manufacturer of kids’ bikes is gearing up production to meet record global demand from their site at Mamhilad Park Estate, Pontypool.

Frog Bikes was first established in 2013 by husband wife team Jerry and Shelley Lawson after a fruitless bike hunt for their own two children inspired them to leave their corporate careers and begin creating quality, lightweight and affordable kids’ bikes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge issued a photograph of their youngest son Prince Louis on a Frog Bike to mark his 3rd birthday last week.

The company now sells to over 1800 retailers and with cycling having increased by as much as 200% in the UK alone during the last year, turnover has reached £12 million. Production of the sought-after bikes is scheduled to increase from 250 a day to 400 a day by mid 2021 and the workforce is expected to grow from 50 to 60.

Support from Welsh Government and Torfaen Council encouraged the Lawsons to open their 120,000 square foot factory in 2016 at Mamhilad, the 150 acre business park owned by leading property development company Johnsey Estates. The Frog Bikes operation was named Best UK factory in 2018 and Best factory in Wales in 2017 and the company won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018.

Director Shelley Lawson said:

“Ultimately, we want to foster a generation of healthy, active and happy children with positive, lifelong habits. To achieve this goal, we partner with like-minded organisations, across all sectors, to collectively make a change and get more kids on bikes.

“Our bikes are not scaled down adult bikes, as children are not miniature adults. At Frog, we put a lot of research into the needs of young riders and design our bikes  specifically for the anatomy of children. Everything from the bike geometry to the quality componentry has been expertly designed and selected to make a child's journey as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Features such as adjustable brakes and our handlebar stem add-on provide room for growth, whilst the shorter cranks, scaled down handlebars and easy to reach brake levers assist comfort so children can travel further and faster.

“We work with people who share our passion for bikes and getting kids active, from local schools and governments to holiday resorts and corporate organisations. The loyalty of our skilled staff coupled with our award-winning premises and the ongoing support of Johnsey Estates means that we have been able to grow the business without the need to relocate.

“The availability of skilled people, great transport links and secure space at Mamhilad has proven to be a winning combination as we continue to invest in the business and reform the thinking behind children’s bikes, all of which are designed with the child in mind.”

James Crawford is Chief Executive of Johnsey Estates. He said:

“With over 180 occupiers here at Mamhilad, we’ve got a thriving ecosystem of business and enterprises spanning the private and public sectors with around 1.5 million square feet of high quality flexible office and warehousing space.

“From start-ups to established manufacturing businesses, we work hard to provide flexible and affordable space that can evolve to meet changing needs. Frog Bikes is a great example of what can be achieved here at Mamhilad and we’re delighted to be supporting the team as they gear up production for the next phase of growth. We are very proud that Mamhilad is home to such a successful and sustainable business.”