Posh promotion is a ‘game changer’ for Peterborough economy

Peterborough United’s promotion to the EFL Championship has been heralded as a ‘game changer’ for the city’s economy.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:02 am
Peterborough United's Weston Homes Stadium. EMN-201030-170609009

The Posh’s triumph over Lincoln City, which has propelled the club back to the second tier for the first time since 2013, is predicted to net the city a ‘significant’ financial boost.

Pubs, eateries, shops and hotels are expected to gain as Peterborough United attracts a raft of bigger clubs with more fans to the city next season.

Promotion will also help put the city in the national and international spotlight and help to attract more investment.

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Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough at the site of the new university at Bishop's Road. EMN-211203-183203009

Industry chiefs also say that as a wave of confidence generated by the hard-fought promotion surges through the city, employers will notice a rise in workforce productivity.

And with revival of the city centre a major concern for civic and political leaders, they say it is even more important that the club, which currently generates £7 million a year to the local economy, remains within the heart of the city.

Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough - the planned Peterborough university, said: “Promotion to the Championship could be a real game changer for Peterborough United, and the city as a whole.

“Our national game is watched around the world.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough.

“The higher you are in the footballing pyramid the more media coverage you receive, both in the UK and internationally, meaning that more people will be talking about Peterborough.

“This could have significant benefits for inward investment to the city as well as provide a feel good factor for people already living here.

“Championship football also means bigger crowds and more away fans, and therefore more money spent in the local economy.

He added: “Peterborough has been highlighted as one of the UK cities expected to have the fastest economic growth post-lockdown, and with a new university, ARU Peterborough, opening next September, it promises to be an exciting time for the city.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough said: “Promotion to the Championship for Posh is a huge win for the team, the fans, and the city as a whole.

“It will be a huge profile boost for the city with greater exposure from matches and attracting more talent.

“As restrictions ease too, we’d hope to see more visiting fans come to Peterborough, and spend money in the city.

“This could also have a knock-on effect on the visitor economy with away fans potentially visiting again with friends and family outside of football.

“Peterborough United already plays a very important part in the city’s economic success, and with a higher profile, that would only increase.

Hr Hennessy added: “The club already generates £7 million of revenue for Peterborough each year, they’re a big employer, and play an active role in improving health and wellbeing of residents, particularly among young people.

“We want as many Peterborough residents as possible to benefit from its economic successes, and with Posh taking on such an active role in the community, a promotion will mean even bigger things for the city.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson, said: “Promotion for Peterborough United is fantastic news for the city and a boost to our local city centre economy in the coming years.

“We estimate that the club already adds an estimated £7 million a year to our local economy, through wages, buying goods and services from local companies and (in normal times) through home and away supporters spending money in the city centre.

“Promotion will increase this figure greatly and can only be good news for the city from a tourism and economic perspective.

“With the coming university, Towns Fund spending and our blossoming cafe culture, our city future looks good - as indicated by a recent study by UK Powerhouse which indicates that Peterborough could be one of the UK’s best performing economies post Covid-19.”

Dave Cramp, Vice-Chair of Peterborough Positive, said: “Our team’s promotion provides a fantastic opportunity to introduce the city to away supporters and boost Peterborough’s economy significantly.

“The BID (Business Improvement District) is about promoting Peterborough to another level, so we of course celebrate Peterborough United’s promotion as a huge positive for the city.

“Similarly to POSH’s achievement, the BID seeks to win challenges to create a better future for locals and visitors alike.

“One of the key aims of the Peterborough BID, if adopted, is to increase footfall into our vibrant city centre.

“Regardless of your footballing colours we should paint the town blue, in a socially-distanced way, this weekend.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “Posh’s promotion will definitely enhance the city’s economy.

“It means Peterborough United will play bigger teams that will bring larger crowds for the home games who will spend in the city pubs, restaurants, shops and even hotels.

“Promotion will also put a spring in the step of local people and create a sense of well being and positivity, which in turn can help generate an increase in productivity among local companies.

Mr Bridge added: “You can’t under-estimate the really positive contribution that the football club makes to the local economy and the atmosphere in the city when it’s doing well.”

He also said it was crucial the club remained in the city centre and that its plans to relocate the stadium to the Embankment should go ahead despite opposition from some people.