EXCLUSIVE: Peterborough University campus sites revealed

A University Centre Peterborough graduation ceremony at the cathedral ENGEMN00120130926212132
A University Centre Peterborough graduation ceremony at the cathedral ENGEMN00120130926212132
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Four sites which could accommodate a Peterborough University campus have been revealed.

The potential sites are:

North Westgate

North Westgate

l North Westgate - a derelict site north of Queensgate Shopping Centre

l Wellington Street Car Park in Eastgate

l Land by the Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre off Bishop’s Road

l Land north of Castor

Wellington Street Car Park in Eastgate

Wellington Street Car Park in Eastgate

Peterborough City Council owns the first three sites, while the land separated from Castor by the A47 is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, a government agency.

Castor could also receive 2,500 new homes on adjacent land as part of proposals included in a new Peterborough Local Plan.

Council leader Cllr John Holdich said there will be one campus but that two sites could be used for halls of residence.

Feasibility studies are currently underway, with an announcement expected early next year.

Land north of the Castor bypass EMN-170530-150142009

Land north of the Castor bypass EMN-170530-150142009

A public consultation would then begin and planning permission would be needed on any sites chosen.

Cllr Holdich said: “Progress has been slow but is now travelling at a pace, which is exciting.”

A fully-fledged university is expected to be up and running in four years, with the first wave of students moving into Bayard Place in Broadway as a temporary measure while new accommodation is being built.

Staff at Bayard Place are due to move into new offices at Fletton Quays, where works are ongoing.

The Embankment athletics track EMN-170530-150054009

The Embankment athletics track EMN-170530-150054009

Should a campus be built at the Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre, a new sports centre would also be built on site, while the existing swimming pool would be renovated, according to Cllr Holdich.

Peterborough hopes to receive degree awarding powers next summer, following which will be a three-year probation period before they come into force.

Currently Anglia Ruskia has a city campus in Oundle Road, and alongside Peterborough Regional College it set up University Centre Peterborough which offers degree courses.

Further details about the new Peterborough University, including what courses it will offer, are yet to be revealed.

A Peterborough University is only now possible after the Government offered it as a sweetener to the city council for accepting a devolution deal.

The deal, which was eventually agreed by the seven biggest councils in Cambridgeshire, created a new county-wide authority called the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority which is run by an elected mayor.

The mayor, James Palmer, told the PT after his election victory last month: “The university is at the top of my list – it needs to be done.

“It’s been 20 years waiting for a Peterborough University and I intend to back Peterborough and invest in a university.

“Investment in the university will bring investment into the city.”