Plans for a £30m golf course to help JCB boost sales and build brand global awareness were today given a unanimous go-ahead by East Staffordshire Borough Council.
The proposal includes an 18-hole, 7,150 yard, par-72 championship golf course centre on 240 acres of countryside to the south of its World HQ at Rocester.
Tenders will be invited tomorrow for phase one of the project, which will involve earthmoving works and initial landscaping.
Group property director Alan Thomson said: “We are delighted that the golf course project has been given approval.
“It is good news for JCB and even better news for Staffordshire because of the very positive impact this scheme will have on the local and regional economy.”
Initial works will begin in the Autumn and after a planned suspension during the winter months, earthmoving and landscaping will recommence in 2015.
Play will start on the course in 2018 and 100 people are expected to be employed in grounds care and hospitality roles.
The course will be designed by European Golf Design, the golf course design company of IMG and the European Tour, and best known for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor in Wales, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Built to tour-quality standard, the course could potentially host a major tour event, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world.
The plans have been conceived by JCB Chairman Lord Bamford and follow an announcement last December that JCB will invest £150m to build two new factories in Staffordshire and significantly increase production to meet an anticipated growth in demand for its products.
At the heart of this premier golf development is Woodseat Hall, a dilapidated 18th Century mansion.
Under the plans, the house will be renovated as the course clubhouse, complete with luxury spa, leisure facility and five-star hotel-style accommodation for visiting JCB guests.
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 help promote the JCB brand globally.
The new golf course will be available mainly to JCB’s network of 770 global dealers.
It will be used to drive business growth, helping to build relationships with new customers and strengthen relationships with existing customers.
Upon completion, golf days will become a feature of the wider JCB visitor experience, which already includes factory visits, the “Story of JCB” exhibition and machine demonstrations.