University will deliver big jobs growth to city

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich with maps of proposed sites for a Peterborough University campus  EMN-170530-145956009
Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich with maps of proposed sites for a Peterborough University campus EMN-170530-145956009
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A University of Peterborough is expected to deliver a £420 million annual boost to the city’s economy with the first pupils due to start in autumn 2022.

The fully-fledged university is set to bring in more than 1,500 jobs to the city and will “transform” its cultural offering.

A decision on which sites will host a campus, university facilities and accommodation will be revealed in September.

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich said: “There’s absolutely no doubt the university will transform the cultural offering in Peterborough.”

Tony West, team leader for the University of Peterborough project, said discussions with employers and students will determine what courses are delivered, but he indicated that areas including green technology, robotics and biochemicals will be considered.

The aim of all courses will be “delivering good quality education that leads to a good career.”

Currently, a three-person team is putting together an application to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to allow University Centre Peterborough (UCP) to separate itself from Anglia Ruskin and evolve into the University of Peterborough.

Mr West added that Anglia Ruskin has been “very supportive.” He added: “Like all parents they will step away at the appropriate time to allow its child to go and blossom.”

UCP is set to make use from September 2019 of the soon to be vacated council offices at Bayard Place in Broadway, and accommodation could also be built in there.

In September this year, the latest version of Peterborough’s Local Plan will include which site or sites will hold a campus. North Westgate (land north of Queensgate), Wellington Street Car Park in Eastgate and land by the Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre off Bishop’s Road are all being actively considered.

But a fourth site north of Castor now appears to have been ruled out. Mr West said: “If students are out of town they do not necessarily want to travel so you lose economic spend.”