Peterborough City Council’s £15m land deal to unlock North Westgate

Aerials of North Westgate ENGEMN00120120803144038
Aerials of North Westgate ENGEMN00120120803144038
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The long-awaited redevelopment of North Westgate is back on the agenda with Peterborough City Council set to fork out £15 million to get it up and running.

With the key city centre site development stalled, the council has taken matters into its own hands and will buy land and property in North Westgate over the next three years to support its regeneration.

The news comes three months after an ambitious £100 million cinema-led development at the site with a hotel, homes, restaurants and shops ground to a halt.

Hawksworth Securities, the backers of the scheme, lost a High Court bid to overturn a decision by the council to approve a rival cinema-led development at nearby Queensgate Shopping Centre.

It was decided two cinemas in close proximity was not viable, and with the Queensgate development at a far more advanced stage Hawksworth decided not to go ahead with its project.

Announcing the new capital funding in his Peterborough Telegraph column, council leader Councillor John Holdich wrote: “It’s a site that some say has been cursed, with developer after developer coming up with grand plans to regenerate it, only for them to fall by the wayside.

“In the past few years we’ve demonstrated that where the council takes a lead role it can get results and unlock regeneration potential.”

Capital funding is money borrowed to spend only on infrastructure. The £15 million is part of the council’s first set of 2017/18 budget proposals to be announced tomorrow.

Cllr Holdich added: “At the same time as buying land we will be working up a viable scheme with partners which allows us to achieve our vision for this massively under-utilised part of our city centre.”