By Molly Kerridge
An iconic Leicestershire based motorcycle company has gone into administration following a struggle to pay a tax bill.
Norton Motorcycles has been an incredibly successful business, often associated with UK motorsport, after being founded in 1898.
However, in recent years the company has faced a growing list of issues, including undelivered motorcycles and questions regarding pensions.
One Lincolnshire man was forced to contact Trading Standards after a seven-month wait for a Norton motorcycle left him with a sizable bill and nothing to show for it.
The prospect of administration has put more than 100 jobs on the line at the factory, based in Castle Donington.
Stuart Garner, the owner who saved the company from previous financial difficulties in 2008, said last May that the company was still strong and planned to open a new factory in Leicestershire.
However, last month, Mr Garner told BirminghamLive that the company owed more than £300,000 to tax authorities and could potentially be liquidated if they were not given more time to pay.
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.”
The motorcycles made by Norton have been featured in films such as Spectre from the James Bond series, as well as being a popular model in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.
Some of the vintage models made by the company are even considered collector’s items.
In a statement published in the Guardian, Mr Garner said: “I’m devastated at the recent events. I have lost everything.
“However, my thoughts are with the Norton team and everyone involved, from customers, suppliers and shareholders at this truly difficult time.”