JCB plans to build the 18-hole, 7,150 yards, Par 72 championship golf course centre on 240 acres of rolling countryside to the south of its World HQ at Rocester.
After East Staffordshire Borough Council unanimously approved the scheme yesterday, tenders will be invited today for 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 start 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, when it is expected that up to 100 people will 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 – best known for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor in Wales, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Conceived by JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, it will be built to tour-quality standard and could potentially host a major tour event, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world.
At the heart of this golf development is Woodseat Hall, an 18th Century mansion currently in ruins, which will be renovated to become 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.
Lord Bamford said: “JCB is a global manufacturer with a successful track record in growing sales in overseas markets. As part of our plans to increase manufacturing capacity and grow sales, we need to build an even stronger awareness of the JCB brand around the world.
“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.”
The new golf course will be made 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.