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British bike exports hit record high

A new analysis of HMRC data by the Department for International Trade (DIT) has revealed that exports of bicycles from Britain are at a record high.

Exports of bicycles from the UK rose by 15% in the year ending July 2019 to reach a total value of £84.6 million. Key destinations included the Netherlands, where sales grew by a massive 52.3% (£2.4 million), while exports to China grew by almost 25% in the same period.

The US also remains a core market for the goods. Exports were worth £6.6 million the year to July 2019, a 19.7% rise on the previous year.

One British manufacturer leading the pack is Pashley, which has been crafting bespoke hand-made bicycles from its factory in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1926.

Pashley now exports to over 45 countries, and here in the UK provides the renowned city hire bikes in London and Edinburgh.

Adrian Williams, managing director at Pashley, said demand for his company’s bikes was growing around the world: “Despite great changes in the bicycle manufacturing industry since Pashley’s inception, we have continued to focus on doing what we do best – designing and making quality hand-built bicycles for business and consumer use.

“Our product is design-led, hand-built and authentically British, making it particularly attractive to a growing overseas market. We currently provide cycles for both business and consumer markets in over 45 countries worldwide, including New Zealand, China, Switzerland and Denmark.”

Also benefiting from the global growth of cycling is DIT Export Champion Weldtite, which develops and manufactures bicycle maintenance products including TF2 Lubricants, Dirtwash and Cyclo Tools from its factory on the banks of the River Humber. Weldtite exports to 52 countries across Asia, Australasia, Africa, North America, South America and Europe.

Similarly, Hope Technology in Lancashire, which manufactures high-quality bike componentry, frames and lights, exports to over 40 countries and has recruited an additional 20 members of staff in the last year to work on its carbon fibre offering.

Minister of State for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart MP, said:

“British cycling’s success on the road and track is now translating into economic benefits as we export both our passion for cycling and our manufacturing excellence overseas.

“As a Yorkshire MP I’m enormously excited that we’re hosting the World Road Cycling Championships this week, the first time it has been held in the UK since 1982.

“The world increasingly looks to the UK for expertise in the cycling industry, whether in competitive racing, recreational pursuits or the daily commute to work. I’m confident that this will continue to grow as the UK’s passion for cycling intensifies.”

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