Business

Norton Motorcycles goes into administration

Norton bikes are used in the Isle of Man TT until this day Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Norton bikes are used in the Isle of Man TT to this day

The famous British motorbike company Norton Motorcycles has gone into administration.

The Leicestershire firm was reportedly struggling to pay a tax bill and faced a winding-up order.

Founded in 1898, Norton is one of the last remaining British motorcycle brands and best known for its involvement in motorsport.

The administration puts about 100 jobs at its Castle Donington factory in question.

Lee Causer, of administrators BDO, said: "We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that customers, staff and suppliers are supported through the administration process.

"Our job is to determine and execute the most appropriate strategy as swiftly as possible to protect creditors' interests, bearing in mind the need to minimise distress for all parties."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A 1962 Norton 650 SS

Founded in Birmingham, Norton began making motorbikes in 1902 and soon became associated with races such as the Isle of Man TT.

Among its most famous models are the Dominator and the Commando, while its Norton Interpol was used by UK police in the 1980s. Vintage models are now considered collectors' items.

Its bikes have also featured in hit films such as the James Bond movie Spectre and the Che Guevara memoir, The Motorcycle Diaries.

Norton fell into financial difficulties in 2008 but was rescued by entrepreneur and property developer Stuart Garner who revived the business.

Mr Garner said last May that the firm was performing strongly and planned to open a new factory.

However, this January he told local newspaper Birmingham Live that Norton owed tax authorities £300,000 and could be liquidated if it was not given more time to pay.

Two other of Mr Garner's companies are also in administration, including his 42-bedroom Priest House Hotel in Castle Donington.

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