Norton Motorcycles has been awarded £4 million from the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, which is intended to secure the long term future of UK motorcycle manufacturing within Norton and its supply chain partners, re-shoring skills lost to UK manufacturing and helping them meet increasing global demand.
The funding goes towards a £7.5 million project by Norton and its supply chain partners to:
* Build a new 10,000 sq ft manufacturing facility;
* Set up a new British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy to train and supply the next generation of engineering apprentices to Norton Motorcycles and other supply chain partners;
* Develop a new clean motorcycle engine technology in the UK which will power a new green motorcycle within 2 years.
The AMSCI funding will result in 159 direct jobs at Norton Motorcycles, which the firm expects will grow into 600 direct and indirect jobs – including 200 apprentices – over 5 years.
Visting the Norton head office near Castle Donington last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “Our long term economic plan is all about backing successful British brands like Norton. Their decision to create 600 new jobs and investment in the next generation of manufacturing engineers is great news for the people of the East Midlands and a vote of confidence in the UK.”
The original Norton company ceased production in 1976 and the business went through a number of incarnations before being bought by businessman Stuart Garner. He has moved the business to Donington Hall near East Midland Airport and started production of a new range of motorcycles, the Commando 961.
Garner said: “To see solid government support for the manufacturing industry like this is hugely heart-warming and gives us great confidence in bringing the industry back to the UK, creating jobs, learning forgotten skills and enabling exports around the world – all in the full knowledge that we have great support and a solid base back home.”