Norton Motorcycles revs up for return to the West Midlands after 123 years

Watch ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn's report on the return of Norton Motorcycles

Queen Victoria was still on the throne when Norton was founded in Birmingham. It made components then - but soon expanded into the production of motorcycles. 

Its obituary has been written many times in the 12 decades since. Now, staked by Indian motorcycle giant TVS, it has returned to the West Midlands.

Its new state of the art factory officially opened today, ten miles from the factory in Digbeth where it made its first bike in 1902.

Giving ITV News Central a tour of the new facility, Norton CEO Robert Hentschel said: "We have in TVS an excellent shareholder in the background who is always long-term thinking who is always investing with a long term perspective and this gives us the opportunity to set up Norton proper this time. 

"The heart of success is - even with such a brand as Norton - is that you deliver a very high quality product and at each stage, in each department you will find exactly that focus."

'This gives us the opportunity to set up Norton proper this time', Norton CEO says

All Norton bikes will be hand built on site - and the move has created 100 high skilled jobs with hundreds more promised in the coming years.

Every component is tested in laboratory conditions before it is fitted to the bike. Head of Quality Chris Temple said: "We’re covering everything from product safety right the way through to the aesthetics - the finished article."

Mr Temple said: "It’s essential that the bike is as good as it can be and so we control that through inspection and built in processes."

Sudarshan Venu, joint managing director of TVS, said: "The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles and is a proud moment for everyone."

Credit: Norton Motorcycles

They added: "We are creating the foundations for a sustainable long-term future for the Norton marque."

Norton left its Bracebridge Street factory in Birmingham in 1962. Since then it has called many places home: Wolverhampton, London and Shenstone in Staffordshire among them. 

Leicestershire based businessman Stuart Garner bought the company in 2008 and moved production to a factory near Donnington Park but administrators were called in in January 2020. The offer from TVS followed in April.

Eighteen months later the new factory is officially open - with Norton now poised, says its management, for a sustainable future they claim will be as legendary as its past. 

Read more on Norton Motorcycles' recent history: