THE £22 million JCB Academy in Rocester could be set to expand with a new sixth form centre if the plans get the go-ahead.
The proposals involve utilising the JCB-owned Grade II listed Millholme building directly opposite the academy with teaching spaces, IT facilities, meeting rooms and student communal lounges for the school’s sixth formers.
The state-of-the-art JCB Academy in Mill Street was constructed around the also grade II listed Arkwright Mill and the use of Millholme by the school would continue that theme.
A three-storey building, Millholme, was built in 1831 as the home for the manager of the adjacent cotton mill but in recent years has been used by owners JCB as temporary residential accommodation for its employees.
However, the digger giant says that use has run its course and the building is to be transferred to the JCB Academy.
Documents submitted to East Staffordshire Borough Council explain how the building is set to be used by the JCB Academy.
It says: “The buildings proximity to the JCB Academy makes it ideal as an extension to the existing facility as it is within immediate reach of the students and staff and the two buildings will be able to share communal facilities and amenities.
“The JCB Academy would propose to incorporate the building into its current teaching facilities.
“As the building is Grade II listed the client and design team have explored the available accommodation within and generally speaking the building can be adapted with minimal intervention to meet the brief of the academy.
“In total there are to be two large teaching spaces and four smaller teaching spaces as well as an IT resource area, student lounge/games room, staff offices and other ancillary uses.”
A heritage statement also submitted with the application says that the use of Millholme as part of the academy would be ‘fitting’ given its historic links with the Tutbury Mills complex from its very conception.
It says: “A functional relationship between the two sites would reinforce the historic connection to those viewing and visiting the building and so would be beneficial to the appreciation of Millholme as an historic building.”
A decision on the plans is due next month.