Norton the saviour of British motorcycle manufacturing

Business...Magazine Feature - Norton Motorcycles, based at Donington Park, Castle Donington... Chief Executive Stuart Garner Reporter - Ian Griffin PICTURE WILL JOHNSTON

Norton – Chief Executive Stuart Garner

Stuart Garner, owner of Norton motorcycles, is fast becoming one of our heroes of UK manufacturing. Not only has be, in recent years, breathed new life into the famous British motorcycle marque but has just announced the creation of a manufacturing academy in Castle Donington.

It is estimated that the academy, which would be built in the grounds of Donington Hall, would create up to 600 full and part-time jobs, as well as create 200 apprentices.

At one time Britain was the preeminent producer of motorcycles in the world. Brands like AJS, BSA, Vincent and Triumph built bikes in the UK and shipped them all over the world. Most of those well known names of British biking have now either been sold off or have sadly disappeared, Triumph perhaps being our only recent success story.

The creation of the British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy is part of Garner’s dream of producing a motorcycle that is totally British made. Norton state that at the moment, 83% of parts for their bikes are made in this country… which is actually a very impressive figure.

What this academy means for British manufacturing should not be underestimated. It will create employment, bring back long-lost skills and secure UK motorcycle manufacturing well into the future.

Stuart Garner – we salute you! oh… and if I could have a test ride on a Commando that would be great.

– James




  1. I hope they will be making a comfy one for pensioners like me who used to have Dominator 99 600cc when I was a teenager and didn’t manage to kill myself ! Good luck to Norton .

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    • Don’t happen to still have it in the shed somewhere do you? Might be worth some real money now!

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  2. Tim Pilling. says

    Fantastic news! Britain was indeed once the pre-eminent manufacturer of motorcycles, cars, textiles and the list goes on and on….
    I wish Stuart Garner the very best of luck in this very much needed academy.

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  3. That is great news indeed, just the sort of targeted investment required, and in contrast to some of the not so good news recently about AGA Rangemaster etc, the company ownership means there is no prospect of them being bought out. I think I might get in early on this one and drop him a line about converting to a mutual when he retires, although hopefully that will be many years down the line.

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  4. Two other things I noticed, were the new clean engine design within two years, which sounds very interesting and they now do factory tours, which just has to be done!

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  5. Great news.Nice to see someone supporting British industry.

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