Topping out ceremony at the new ARU Peterborough site at Bishop's Road by Mayor Dr Nik Johnson and Prof. Ross Renton EMN-220214-145102009

Peterborough’s new £30 million university reaches new heights

Construction of Peterborough’s £30 million university has reached new heights with a ceremonial topping out ceremony.

Civic and business leaders attended the event to mark construction of the three storey university at the Embankment reaching its highest point.

Guests were also given a tour of the building, which will not be completed until the end of July, and were able to see key features clearly taking shape from the lecture hall, the atrium, a restful open air terrace to a cafe near a majestic main entrance.

And just a few meres from the main entrance, guests could also see the second phase of the university rising out of the ground - a research and development centre that is being built jointly with 3D printing specialists Photocentric, which will also be the anchor tenant.

Ross Renton, principal of the ARU Peterborough, said: “It is an end to Peterborough appearing in a list of cities without a university.

“But it is only a beginning. This one building is not enough. We need a full campus, thriving at the heart of our city bringing high skilled jobs to the city and bringing innovation to communities.

“Our aspirations for Peterborough match those of the people across the city and region. We need to have a university that is not just well known here in the UK but across the world as being innovative, about doing things differently, and I see that as the potential here.”

The new university, which will open in September, is a joint venture between Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

It will be an employment-focused university, and will deliver courses targeted specifically towards industries across Peterborough where demand currently outstrips availability of skilled workers.

The project is backed by over £24.8 million of funding, including £12.3 million of capital investment from the Combined Authority, £12.5 million of Local Growth Funding and £1.6 million in land investment from Peterborough County Council.

Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “I get a sense of real change in Peterborough.

“Our mission is all about addressing inequalities.

“Now what we’ve got with this university is graduates in so many specialities and all moving into high paid jobs and bringing the quality and the ambition and addressing the inequalities that this city has had over many years.”

“I couldn’t be more delighted to see progress on a new university for Peterborough moving forward at breakneck speed.

“I’m proud of how far we have come on a journey that will drastically improve the prospects of people in Peterborough and across the region while boosting the number of skilled workers available to businesses.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills and the university at Peterborough City Council, said: “This is an important milestone in the history of our city. The new university opening later this year will help us to close the skills gap we currently have in this city, improving the wages and prosperity of our residents and of the city as a whole.”

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