Plant & Works Engineering

Plans unveiled for eco-friendly academy

Published:  05 April, 2007

JCB has revealed detailed plans of its proposed multi-million pound Academy that would enable young people from across Staffordshire and Derbyshire to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.

The company has unveiled plans to locate the Academy, which would have a capacity of 540 students and cost around £20 million, in the Grade II-listed Tutbury Mill following a refurbishment and the creation of an impressive extension that would use modern technologies to make the whole site environmentally sustainable.

JCB aims to make the Academy, offering diplomas in engineering, manufacturing and international business for 14 to 19-year-olds, the country's first fully sustainable school building. This would involve taking a number of innovative steps to create power, conserve heat and reduce waste.

Proposals include reviving the mill"s water race and installation of 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.

Plans to refurbish the 18th-century mill, one of the oldest iron-framed buildings in the UK, include steam cleaning the timbers, damp proofing, renewing the windows, re-roofing and strengthening the structure. The new wing would be contemporary, incorporating glass and steel. An atrium is proposed to link the new wing to the existing building.

Building work on the Academy is planned to start this winter in readiness for a planned September, 2009, opening. The plans are subject to a feasibility study currently being undertaken by the Department for Education and Skills.
Paul Pritchard, head of JCB Academy Project, said: "The JCB Academy would develop a passion for technical and academic excellence in engineering, manufacturing and international business.”

Councillor Philip Atkins, a Rocester resident who sits on Staffordshire County Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Rocester Parish Council, said: “This would be excellent news for Rocester, young people throughout the area, JCB and the engineering and manufacturing industries as a whole.”

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