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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Plans for JCB Academy unveiled

JCB have unveiled plans for their new £20 million Academy, which will give young people across Staffordshire and Derbyshire the opportunity to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.

With skills shortages on the horizon, it is vitally important that the right courses and training are made available to youngsters. The new JCB college will have a capacity of 540 and offer diplomas in engineering, manufacturing and international business for 14- to 19-year-olds.  

Construction work will involve refurbishing Tutbury Mill, a Grade II-listed building, and developing a new-build extension, although the cornerstone of the design will be the sustainability of the Academy. Energy-efficient proposals include installing a modern water turbine to create energy; recycling waste timber packaging from JCB factories by turning it into biomass chips to provide heating; collecting rainwater to flush toilets; and using solar panels to heat water.

Refurbishment work to resurrect Tutbury Mill, one of the oldest iron-framed buildings in the UK, will include steam cleaning the timber, damp proofing, renewing the windows and re-roofing. Meanwhile, the modern extension will be of steel-frame construction incorporating a number of glass features. The link between the Mill and extension will be achieved by an atrium.

Commenting on the detailed plans, Paul Pritchard, head of the Academy project, said: ‘For JCB to meet growth plans and continue their future investment in the UK, we need to encourage more young people of the right calibre and attitude to pursue careers with JCB or other successful manufacturers and businesses. The JCB Academy seeks to become a catalyst for improved provision across the region by being a centre of excellence in its field.

‘The proposed conversion and alteration of Tutbury Mill will rejuvenate an important building in Rocester. It is proposed that areas of the new build will be sympathetically designed and high-quality, modern materials will be used to harmonize and complement the existing mill.’

Consultations have already been carried out with school head teachers, further education colleges and local education authorities in Staffordshire and Derbyshire, as well as with Rocester Parish Council and residents of the village. JCB is also liaising with English Heritage over the proposals.

The project is scheduled to start this winter, with completion planned for September 2009.

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