‘Best team available’ signed to make Peterborough University a reality

Back row - Tony Gale, Simon Chamberlayne, Kim Cooke, Murdoch Cameron, Dave Campbell, Daniel Robinson. Front row: Mayor James Palmer, cllr John Holdich
Back row - Tony Gale, Simon Chamberlayne, Kim Cooke, Murdoch Cameron, Dave Campbell, Daniel Robinson. Front row: Mayor James Palmer, cllr John Holdich

Building work for Peterborough University will begin at the end of next year, the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has promised.

Mayor James Palmer said he was confident building work would begin in 2020, as he unveiled management consultancy Mace as part of the team to deliver the scheme.

The campus is set to be based on The Embankment in Peterborough, and it is planned to open to students in 2022.

The team assembled by Mace includes 18 specialist consultants with a wealth of experience in the delivery of university projects around the UK, including at universities in Lincoln, Suffolk and Northampton.

Mayor Palmer said: “This is a magnificent chance for Peterborough to shine not just for the next few years, but the next hundred plus years, I think the university will be transformational for the city, transformational for the north of the county and I think it is tremendously exciting.

“We have got the best possible team we can put together to deliver, we’ve worked very hard to make sure we have the best possible advice to this point. The work we have done so far will bear fruit with the quality of facility that will be delivered for this great city.”

The next stage for the university will be the procurement for the academic partner, which will begin on August 5. Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council and Deputy Mayor of the Combined Authority, said that while the ‘competition’ to become the partner started next month ‘it would be true to say we have had initial approaches.’

The team from Mace will also be working on the proposed curriculum for the university. A survey was sent out to 200 Peterborough businesses, with 79 providing responses about what they would like to see from the university.

Employers said that skills in mechanical and structural engineering, mathematics, science and certain health and social care skills were in demand now, and would continue to be so in the future. The most popular areas of the proposed curriculum were business, IT and digital and sustainability skills. Those areas of learning were judged to have been favoured because of their general importance to a range of business sectors.

It is hoped planning permission for the university will be granted early in 2020

Tony Gale, Mace’s Operations Director, Central and South West UK and Higher Education lead, said: “We are excited to be appointed as the lead consultant to deliver the new University of Peterborough campus. This exciting development will have a transformative impact on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, creating a new centre of academic excellence for the region and delivering new jobs for local people.”