DIGGER manufacturer JCB has been given the go-ahead to create a £30 million state-of-the-art European Tour-standard golf course in its grounds.
The 240-acre course close to the firm’s Rocester headquarters has received approval from East Staffordshire Borough Council.
JCB said the facility would create 100 jobs, not counting roles created during construction.
The 18-hole, 7,150-yard course would initially be used to host corporate clients but JCB hopes it would eventually become a venue for the professional European Tour.
It will be designed by European Golf Design – the company of IMG and the European Tour – which is best-known for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor in Wales, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Tenders will now be invited for the first phase of the project, which will involve earthmoving works and initial landscaping and should take place in autumn.
It is hoped that the course, which will be created across 240 acres of countryside, will be ready for play in 2018.
JCB 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 the area because of the very positive impact this scheme will have on the local and regional economy.”
Eighteenth-century mansion Woodseat Hall is at the centre of the development and JCB said it planned to give it a “new lease of life” by renovating it as the course’s clubhouse.
A spokesman for the firm said: “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 put the JCB brand firmly on the world stage.”