December 7 2013 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Harley Davidson has announced its intent to pull out of Norfolk in a move that will see its operation transferred to Newmarket.
The loss-making Norwich dealership will close on October 31 – five years after it was opened on Ber Street.
The company said it remained unclear whether the closure would lead to job losses.
Russell Dacre, managing director of the franchise owned by automotive group Lind, said the decision was sparked by the “economic times” and the purchase of the Newmarket dealership, Black Bear Harley Davidson.
He said that Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborugh could now be served “more sustainably” from the Newmarket franchise, which will also support the Norfolk Harley Davidson owner’s group the ICENI Chapter.
In a statement on the company’s website, Mr Dacre said: “This statement comes with mixed emotion, one of great excitement as a result of the acquisition of Newmarket, but also with great disappointment at the closure of Norwich. We have worked very hard at making Norwich a success and the team who you will know well have delivered a fantastic service from the business. It has not been an easy decision to effectively put an end to what has been a very memorable five-year journey.”
He added: “As a result of the purchase and economic times that we have been facing we have agreed with Harley Davidson that the Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area is served in a more sustainable way through one dealership based in Newmarket, as it has been in the past before we opened the Norwich dealership.”
The company said that all vouchers for the Norwich dealership can now be spent at the Newmarket branch.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has hailed the town’s growing significance as an energy hub after the arrival of a new offshore business bringing the promise of 100 jobs over the next three years.