JCB unveils plans for $49.4m golf course
JCB to build a new $49.4m golf course next to its UK headquarters
JCB has announced it is to build a $49.4m (£30m) golf course in a bid to boost sales and build global awareness of its brand.
The 18-hole, 7,150-yard, par 72 championship course will occupy 240 acres of countryside near to the British manufacturer’s world headquarters in Rocester.
Once opened, JCB expects the new course to create up to 100 jobs in ground care and hospitality.
The course, which is scheduled for completion in 2018, will be designed by European Golf Design: the design firm used by IMG and the European Tour. The company is arguably best known for its work on Celtic Manor in Wales, which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.
JCB plans to build the new facility to a tour-quality standard to give it potential to play host to a tour event in the future. The plans have been conceived by JCB chairman Lord Bamford, and follow an announcement in early December that the manufacturer is to invest $247m (£150m) in building two new factories in Staffordshire.
“JCB is a global manufacturer with a successful track record in growing sales in overseas markets,” commented Lord Bamford. “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,” he added. “I’m not a golfer myself but I’m excited by the opportunity it presents us in driving our future plans for business growth.”
Situated at the centre of the new development is Woodseat Hall. The 18th Century mansion is currently in ruins, but will be given a new lease of life as the new clubhouse. Moreover, with a luxury spa, a leisure facility and five-star accommodation, Woodseat Hall will double as a home away from home for international guests visiting JCB’s headquarters.
“The golf course will be the biggest marketing tool available to JCB in its history, helping grow sales and create jobs,” said JCB chief executive officer Graeme Macdonald. “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.”
The new course, which is subject to planning consent, will be made available mainly to JCB’s network of 770 global dealers. It will be used as a tool to drive business growth by helping to build new, and strengthen existing, relationships with customers.