Opinion: ‘Let’s keep Peterborough’s momentum going’

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow writes his regular column for the Peterborough Telegraph...

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 1:15 pm
'Posh geting promoted fits our moment'

Peterborough is genuinely a special city.

Our potential is there for everyone to see and I know that good times are ahead.

The Posh getting promoted fits our moment.

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It’s not just our city’s football fans who should be celebrating. Yet there are still things we need to do, which will help to make our positive future a certainty.

Everyone in Peterborough has a role. That applies to the local elections, which will probably be over by the time you’re reading this column.

It also applies to selling our city, particularly when we talk to people that we know elsewhere. It’s easy to talk ourselves down, but negativity can be contagious.

Fortunately, positive attitudes are also contagious. The more others hear about our strengths, the more our reputation and standing improve.

I have a clear sense of my role. As a local MP, it’s my job to ensure that the government understands our potential.

My task is lobbying for Peterborough.

So far, it’s going well. The UK government has:

• Invested over £16 million here, so we can build a specialist university. Peterborough’s university will focus on science, technology, engineering and manufacturing. It will also include a research hub, attracting companies from across the world to invest in our city.

• Guaranteed £23 million of funding through the Towns Fund programme, which will act as a catalyst for our city centre regeneration. This will see the development of the Vine Culture Hub and kickstart regeneration of the Station quarter.

• Put Peterborough in phase 1 of the Levelling Up bidding process. We are at the front of the queue for additional support for infrastructure projects.

• Funded and delivered more police officers for Peterborough. Our fair share of the new recruits is putting extra boots on the ground. This not only reassures local residents - it catches criminals.

• Allowed us to apply to the Shared Prosperity Fund for investment in our sporting facilities, play areas and open spaces. It’s part of this government’s plan to invest in our young people.

All this investment would not have been possible without MPs and senior councillors making the case and putting in the hours.

I hope sense has prevailed in the local elections. But whatever form the city council administration takes, when we have stopped counting the votes, a positive attitude must continue.

We can’t afford to throw these efforts away. International companies are continuing to make Peterborough their home. Jobs and growth are crucial.

It helps that we are on the main East Coast main line, linking Peterborough to both London and the north. Similarly, the A1 connects us by road.

We have wonderful open spaces, such as the Ferry Meadows and the Embankment (whatever happens with the university and a future football ground for the Posh).

I hope Peterborough United’s success will be emblematic.

Their promotion allows all of us to be proud of what our team has achieved. It will be another catalyst for economic growth.

A new stadium would see the Posh become an emblem of the city’s regeneration. It would unite their success with Peterborough’s transformation.

So let’s be proud of our city and hold our heads high.

Let’s leave lockdown with the positives foremost.

Businesses, government and most of our local politicians can see our potential. Let’s do it for Peterborough!