Public consultation to start on multi-million pound Living Lab at Peterborough's university

Two-week window for public to make their views known

Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 5:00 am

Multi-million pound plans to create a publicly accessible Living Lab as the third phase of Peterborough’s new university have taken a step forward.

A two week long public consultation has been launched ahead of a planning application for the development on the north of the Embankment site, off Bishop’s Road, being submitted to Peterborough City Council.

The third phase of ARU Peterborough is the key element in making the university a truly community-based institution, adding a new cultural attraction to the city for residents and visitors.

This image shows the Living Lab as part of the proposed third building of ARU Peterborough, right, with the first phase to the left with the under-construction Research and Development in the foreground on the left.

The Living Lab will feature an open, interactive science centre and education space to creatively engage people in science and technology.

It is also planned to use it to host events, exhibitions and flexible learning, including festivals of ideas, immersive displays, hackathons, forums and evening classes. The new building will also contain extra teaching space for the university.

Funding is in place for the building, including £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

It will be built on the site of the Regional Pool car park, next to first teaching building which is opening to students in September.

The other building on the developing campus, the Research and Development Centre, is under construction.

How can I take part in the consultation?

The consultation will begin on August 8 and the deadline for feedback and comments will be August 22.

An opportunity to find out more and have a say is available both online and at two events.

Information and a feedback form can be found online from August 8 at

The consultation events, where representatives will be on hand to answer questions, are at the Peterborough Cathedral Visitor and Learning Centre on:

August 15: 3pm – 7pm August 16: 3pm – 7pm

The feedback from the public will be considered as part of developing the plans before submitting.

The public will then be able to comment to the city council on the planning application as part of the usual planning process.

What is being said about the consultation?

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “It is important we hear the views of local people before planning permission is put in for this second teaching building and Living Lab.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in ARU Peterborough and its development to take a look online or drop in to one of the consultation events.”

Prof Ross Renton, ARU Peterborough Principal, said: “We are looking forward to these ambitious plans going on display to the people of the city and the wider region, who will be the main beneficiaries of the new university, including the Living Lab.

"I encourage members of the community to come along to the cathedral to find out more about this transformative development."

The creation of ARU Peterborough forms part of the Embankment Masterplan that is being developed by the council which aims to maximise the potential of the area for leisure and culture.

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Multi-million pound plans for publicly accessible Living Lab at Peterborough uni...