Major landowners are to be urged to help shape a long awaited £100 million regeneration of Peterborough's North Westgate.
In an imaginative push to finally breathe new life into the 10 acre derelict site, major landowners will be invited to attend the council-led design workshop next month.
The aim will be to put together a range of commercially viable ideas to fit into a masterplan for the site, which has been earmarked for development for decades.
The idea was unveiled tonight by Peterborough City Council leader Councillor John Holdich at a black tie dinner for business and civic leaders held in the historic setting of Peterborough Cathedral.
Cllr Holdich also announced that Peterborough companies LDA Design and Barker Storey Matthews had offered their expertise to the council to help develop the masterplan.
The announcement comes 10 months after the council stated it was determined to kick-start the rebirth of the area and vowed the gateway to the city site would be redeveloped by 2023.
It committed £15 million to help start the development by acquiring some of the site, which is thought to be in the hands of 32 different owners..
Cllr Holdich told an audience of more than 100 company chiefs and city politicians: "The council announced its initial masterplan proposals for North Westgate with a concept scheme developed by Norr Architects earlier this year.
“We are delighted to announce that local firms LDA Design and Barker Storey Matthews have offered their professional time and expertise to produce a masterplan for North
Westgate on behalf of the city council.
"Both businesses are demonstrating their commitment to the city to help deliver a viable development proposal which will contribute to the local economy by creating new
opportunities to live, work, learn and relax in the city centre.
Coun Holdich said: “The next stage of the process will be a council-led design workshop in November, in which all major landowners will be invited to build on these proposals.
"Together we can reach an agreement on the site’s key components and a programme for implementation, ensuring commercial viability.
He added: “The development of North Westgate at one end of our city centre, and the new university and Fletton Quays at the other will represent its most extensive development for years - unlocking the economic potential of Peterborough as a modern, growing city.”
North Westgate has been the focus of a number of regeneration proposals since the 1970s, some of which still sit on the council's books awaiting action by the would-be developer.
The most recent proposals have been submitted by Hawksworth Securities, which already owns some of the North Westgate site.