Matt Gladstone, who took over the top job at the council about four weeks ago, said the perception was wrong and the city was full of innovation and potential.
During a speech to scores of business people at economic development company Opportunity Peterborough’s Bondholder meeting held at Peterborough Museum, he said that because of its position in the A1 corridor, there was a perception of the city as being full of logistics warehouses and low paid jobs.
He said: “But I’d challenge that perception.
“Logistics is here to stay but the nature of those jobs is changing, for instance with developments such as AI.
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“And these companies are long term investors that put hundreds of millions of pounds of kit into their premises.
“But we have a vibrant economy - look at the figures for the number of start-up businesses, fifth highest in the UK, and the number of newly registered companies.
“Even just looking at the basics such as a growing population, an agreed Local Plan for development, business confidence, and we have university - the only city in the country to get a new university.
“We are surrounded by green space - Nene Park is a wonderful asset. The people at the Queensgate shopping centre have told me of their exciting plans around the former John Lewis store and the new cinema. There are also opportunities coming through Levelling Up.
“From housing, culture, green space - if we can get all of this right it is a hugely attractive proposition to any developer and investor.
“But we must grab the opportunities now.”
Referring to the council’s ongoing struggle to close its £27 million funding gap, Mr Gladstone added: “We do have a few financial issues and I was brought in to turn that around. I am confident we will be successful.”