New report names Peterborough as fastest growing city

Light trails around the Queensgate roundabout in Peterborough city centre at evening rush hour. Photo: Paul Franks
Light trails around the Queensgate roundabout in Peterborough city centre at evening rush hour. Photo: Paul Franks

Monday, 9.50am: Peterborough has been heralded as the UK’s fastest growing city in a new report published today (27 January) comparing figures between 2002 to 2012.

Experts with national research group Centre for Cities say that in 2002 there were 158,800 people living in the city but by 2012 that number had risen to 186,400, an increase of 27,600.

According to their figures, the city’s population has risen by 17 per cent over the decade, with annual percentage population growth of 1.6%.

The report ’Cities Outlook 2014’ ranks Peterborough as eighth for the highest rise in house prices.

It states that prices rose by an average of £5,500 to £157,900 last year compared to £152,400 for the previous year.

The city is placed fifth in the country for growth of its housing stock - up from 76,800 in 2011 to 77,200 in 2012.

Peterborough has outperformed most of the country for its rapid employment growth and is ranked in second place for jobs growth.

According to the study, the number of jobs in the private sector in Peterborough grew by 5.4 per cent from 73,200 in 2011 to 77,200 in 2012.

Peterborough has also been named as one of four cities that has seen an increase in wages of more than £20 a week. The others are Aldershot, Blackburn and Stoke. The average weekly wage nationally is £512. However, Cambridge suffered a drop in real wages of more than £20 a week.

But generally Cambridge’s performance has been praised in the report.

It was named the fourth fastest growing city by population, with 109,500 people living there in 2002, but 125,200 by 2012.

It was named as the top city for the lowest number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

It has also been named number one for the highest rise in house prices over the last year. The study says on average there’s been a £35,200 price increase, between 2012-2013.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “I welcome growth if there is sufficient infrastructure to support it not just population increase alone.

“We also need to concentrate on raising the quality of life of existing residents and that means better quality homes and improving schools amongst other things.

“But Peterborough has most certainly turned a corner with new jobs and growth coming to our area.”

Minister for Cities Greg Clarke MP said: “Centre for Cities’ analysis shows that five of the Core Cities are among the top 10 private sector job creators since 2010.

“This reflects the huge economic power of England’s great cities.”

“This report makes clear that our cities need more control over their own future, and more freedom to build on their own strengths rather than be restricted by uniform national ways of doing things.”

Read more: see relevant Peterborough stats from the report or view the full report as a PDF.