Historic Donington Hall gets new bike resident
Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd. has completed the purchase of historic Donington Hall, which will serve as its new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities.
Situated on 26 acres of classic English countryside and located within the Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit race complex, the new head office and production facilities are situated less than a mile from Norton’s current manufacturing plant. The company will first transition its corporate and engineering staff to the new location, then prepare for transfer of its manufacturing to the site.
Steeped in British history, the main building was constructed in Gothic Revival style in 1790. While the original 40,000 square-foot Donington Hall and its grand entry greet with remarkable architectural style, the building’s interior has modern office and meeting facilities.
As recently as 2012, the site has served as world headquarters for British Midlands Airways, and benefits from complete modernization. Located within the same grounds to the rear of Donington Hall is an additional 45,000 square-feet of a newly constructed building complex, known as Hastings Hall, which will serve as Norton’s production facilities.
“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,” Norton UK CEO Stuart Garner said. “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 prepares to increase production and enter new markets worldwide, the company has been bringing more manufacturing in-house, and the new location allows it to continue to grow within its existing locale.
The Donington Grand Prix Circuit complex, home of the new Norton headquarters, has become one of the world’s major destinations for motorcyclists and motorsports enthusiasts. 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 and rock concerts. It also houses the Grand Prix Collection museum, the world’s largest collection of Formula One racecars.
“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,” said Dan Van Epps of Norton Motorcycles USA. “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.”