THE iconic Moulton bicycle is still a firm favourite for thousands of people across the world and having just secured a £500K deal to manufacture a unique bike for the Chinese market the company is stronger than ever.

Established in 1962 by engineer and inventor Dr Alex Moulton, the Moulton Bicycle Company is in the heart of Bradford on Avon and employs 17 people, including a new university placement student and an apprentice joining the team this year.

Long serving employees include Timmy Bigwood, tool and prototype maker, who has been with the company for 50 years. Eddie Fairclough has been there for 29 years and Roy Chapman has been there for 25 years, both passing on their silver brazing skills to the new staff.

Dr Moulton died in December 2012, aged 92, and his great nephew Shaun Moulton, who joined the company 19 years ago, is now the general manager after being involved with all aspects of the business.

Mr Moulton said: “My wish is to see the Moulton Bicycle Company grow and prosper. It feels good to be a part of a genuinely British manufacturing business that produces high-end handmade bicycles.

“It is companies like Moulton, Brompton and Pashley who continue to manufacture in Britain, creating jobs here, passing on valuable manufacturing skills, and providing work to suppliers and crafts people like polishers, chromers and painters. We are happy to carry on these working practices held dear by Dr Alex Moulton.”

Steven Harvey, international sales, was one of 100 business representatives that joined Prime Minister David Cameron on a trade trip to China last month and secured the £500k deal for the Chinese bike.

Mr Harvey said: “Having sold our bikes for a number of years, the Chinese wanted a special bicycle for China, and our research and development team helped make that happen.

“The prototype was brought over to the Shanghai Exhibition centre in time for the Prime Minister to see it during the gala event held there, promoting Great British brands.”

Mr Moulton said: “After 50 years of innovative engineering, the spirit of Alex Moulton is in all the bicycles we make, and prevails in every Moulton bicycle club around the world. We have keen Moultoneers in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. They are in France, Germany, the US and the list is growing. Japan alone has over 100 Moulton dealers helping to spread the word. All of this interest inevitably contributes to new development and modernising in the product line.”