Torfaen bike business creating new jobs to meet record demand

An award-winning manufacturer of children’s bikes is gearing up production to meet record global demand.

Frog Bikes was set up in 2013 by husband and wife Jerry and Shelley Lawson after a fruitless hunt for bicycles for their children inspired them to leave their corporate careers and begin creating quality, lightweight and affordable children’s bikes.

The bikes are manufactured at a 120,000 sq ft factory at Mamhilad Park Estate.

The company, which can boast Prince Louis as one of its bike owners, now sells to more than 1,800 retailers.

With cycling having reportedly increased by 200 per cent in the UK alone over the last year, turnover has reached £12 million. Production of the bikes is set to increase from 250 a day to 400 a day the middle of 2021 and the workforce is expected to grow from 50 to 60.

The Frog Bikes operation in Wales 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.

“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 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, chief executive of Johnsey Estates, which owns and runs Mamhilad Park Estate, said: “With more than 180 occupiers we’ve got a thriving ecosystem of business and enterprises spanning private and public sectors with around 1.5 million square feet of high-quality flexible office and warehousing space.

“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.”

South Wales Argus | Business