JCB has announced a new wave of investment in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, with plans for a $49 million (about £30 million) golf course next to its world headquarters to help boost sales and build global awareness of its brand.
The proposals for an 18-hole, 7,150-yards, Par 72 championship golf course center on 240 acres of rolling countryside to the south of its Rocester headquarters. When completed in 2018, it is expected that up to 100 people will be employed in ground 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. 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, the company said.
Plans for the course were conceived by JCB Chairman Lord Bamford and follow an announcement in early December that JCB will invest $247 million (£150 million) 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 the new golf development is Woodseat Hall, an 18th Century mansion currently in ruins, that will be renovated to serve as the course clubhouse, complete with a luxury spa, leisure facility and five-star hotel-style accommodation for visiting JCB guests from across the world.
“JCB is a global manufacturer with a successful track record in growing sales in overseas markets," said 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. 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 golf course will be the biggest marketing tool available to JCB in its history, helping grow sales and create jobs," said Graeme Macdonald, JCB CEO. "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 golf course, which is subject to planning consent, 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.