THIS week East Staffordshire will be hosting two special royal visits beginning tomorrow with an appearance by His Royal Highness the Duke of York in Rocester.
Prince Andrew will meet the businesses that have supported the JCB Academy when he visits the state-of-the-art school in Mill Street, as well as the pupils and staff.
Then on Tuesday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit St George’s Park in Rangemore to officially open the Football Association’s new national football centre.
During their visit Prince William, who is honorary president of the FA, and Kate Middleton will tour the £120 million facility before meeting England boss Roy Hodgson and his squad who will be training at the centre for the first time ahead of their World Cup qualifying clash with San Marino.
Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths said the area would give Kate and Wills a ‘wonderful reception’ and said the visit showed how world-renowned St George’s Park is going to become.
He said: “We always knew the centre would be high-profile but this event demonstrates that we are in the public spotlight now, and that’s got to be fantastic for local people and local businesses.” Meanwhile Prince Andrew’s visit to the JCB Academy tomorrow will see him tour the facility as part of his continued focus on University Technical Colleges.
The highlight of the Royal visit will be the presentation of certificates by His Royal Highness to partner organisations that have supported the academy since it opened in September 2010.
JCB Academy principal Jim Wade said: “We are delighted that The Duke of York has chosen to visit us. It is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the excellent progress being made by our students and to honour the support being given to us by companies from across the region.” The JCB Academy was set up to develop the engineers and business leaders of the future and last month the first of its students to complete their studies started apprenticeships with companies including JCB, Rolls-Royce, Nestle, Bentley Motors as well as KMF, WD Tankers and B&B Tractors.
The JCB Academy works with 14 partner companies, which are central to setting real-life engineering tasks for students to complete.