Golf firm to invest £150m in Staffordshire11th February, 2014 by Tania Longmire
A golf course construction firm has announced it will invest more than £150 million in Staffordshire over the next few years, creating hundreds of jobs.
JCB will even build a £30 million ‘world class’ golf course, which will be used to develop relationships with customers and dealers.
JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald officially opened JCB World Logistics in Rocester, Staffordshire today, which will be the central receiving hub for supplier-bought components used in the manufacture and assembly of JCB machines, which are used in the construction and maintenance of golf courses.
The next step will be to secure planning permission, so that JCB machines can be used to build an 18-hole, 7,150 yards, par 72 championship golf course centre on 240 acres of rolling countryside to the south of its new building.
When completed in 2018, it is expected that up to 100 people will be employed in greenkeeping and hospitality roles.
The course will be designed by European Golf Design – the golf course design company of IMG and the European Tour – best known for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor in Wales, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup. It will be built to tour-quality standard.
At the heart of the development is Woodseat Hall, an 18th century mansion currently in ruins, but which will have a new lease of life under plans to renovate it as the course clubhouse, complete with a new luxury spa, leisure facility and five-star hotel-style accommodation for visiting JCB guests from across the world.
JCB’s chairman Lord Bamford said: “Golf is a truly global sport and is a perfect fit for JCB as a global manufacturer as we look to develop strong relationships with customers and dealers worldwide. I’m not a golfer myself but I’m excited by the opportunity it presents us in driving our future plans for business growth.”
Graeme Macdonald added: “The golf course will be the biggest marketing tool available to JCB in its history, helping grow sales and create jobs. If the course were to host a major tournament, the television coverage would certainly put the JCB brand firmly on the world stage. It would also help to raise the profile of Staffordshire and promote the county as a tourist destination to millions of people around the world.”
European Golf Design’s course architect for the JCB course, Robin Hiseman, said: “We were asked to create a premier tour-proven golf course to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the very best contemporary golf course designs in the UK. We are very confident that our design meets this requirement, taking full advantage of a rich landscape that includes deciduous woodland, classic English farmland and historic parkland with many arboretum-standard specimen trees.
“The course design, which is burgeoning with imaginative design concepts, will twist and turn around the natural contours of the site, dipping in and out of the woodlands and involving the existing water features in a range of exciting ways, including the spectacular and unique par three 17th hole, which plays onto an existing wooded island in the South Lake.
“We are looking forward to building this JCB course, and as you might expect, JCB machines will be doing all of the work in what will be a 240-acre shop window for its product range.”