Norton Motorcycles News
Norton Motorcycles has been in the news a lot lately, most of the stories focusing on the global homologation of the UK-based motorcycle manufacturer’s Commando 961 line.
The homologation process involves some lengthy tests from government agencies, but things are progressing.
Then in February, Norton announced that it had acquired the shares that Norton didn’t own from Spondon Engineering LTD, which was half-owned by legendary British frame builder Stuart Tiller. With the purchase of shares, Norton has 100-percent control and ownership of the engineering side of things within the company.
Now Norton has made another huge announcement – it has completed the purchase of the historic Donington Hall, which is located in the UK’s famed Grand Prix Circuit racing complex.
The Gothic Revival styled building was constructed in 1790, and will serve as corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities for Norton. Donington Hall, which is situated on 26 acres, is a mile from where Norton is currently residing.
The company will first move corporate and engineering staff to the hall, then prep the manufacturing side to transfer all operations there.
Dan Van Epps (Norton Motorcycles USA) says: “Where else in the world can one tour an 18th century Gothic Revival mansion, view a Norton Motorcycle being built, watch a World Superbike race and attend an Iron Maiden concert all in the same place? Donington Hall and its setting inspire and ground us firmly to all that is great about Britain and British motor sports both past and present. It reminds us daily of the importance of our mission – to design and engineer motorcycles that are worthy of this iconic brand and its history of excellence.”
Speaking of the building, Norton Motorcycles says “steeped in British history, the main building Donington Hall was constructed in a Gothic Revival style in 1790. While the original 40,000-feet Donington Hall and its grand entry greet with remarkable architectural style, the building’s interior features modern office and meeting facilities.
“As recently as 2012, the site has served as world headquarters for British Midlands Airways, and benefits from a fresh, complete renovation and modernization. Located within the same grounds to the rear of Donington Hall is an additional 45,000 ft2 of a newly constructed building complex, known as Hastings Hall which will serve as Norton’s production facilities.”
Boss Stuart (Norton UK Boss) says: “While our current location has served us well as our starting point for Norton, it does not reflect the identity and culture of the Norton brand well. Donington Hall brings to mind a unique British style of permanence, strength and quality, attributes that we build into every Norton Motorcycle.
“Style and design alone is not enough however, and beyond the drama of Donington Hall’s main building, the site includes a thoroughly modern facility that will allow us to expand production capabilities, as it is clear that we have quickly outgrown the capacity of our original location.”
As Norton readies itself to increase production and enter new markets worldwide, staying true to its mainstay of quality without compromise and ‘Built in Britain by British hands’ remains a top priority. As such, the company has been bringing more and more manufacturing in-house, and the new location now permits the company to continue to mature and grow within its existing locale, Norton reports.
The Donington Grand Prix Circuit complex, home of the new Norton headquarters, has become one of the world’s major destinations for motorcyclists and motor sports enthusiasts alike. The site is home to 2013 rounds of the World and British Superbike championship, as well as a full calendar of world class motorcar road racing, vintage racing, rock concerts as well as the Grand Prix Collection museum which houses the world’s largest collection of Formula One race cars.