Plans for new arts centre at Fletton Quays in Peterborough shelved after funding rejected

A new arts centre earmarked for the Fletton Quays development has been pulled after an application for £1 million of funding was rejected.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 5:00 am
The former Whitworth Mill building at Fletton Quays

The proposed centre was due to replace the former Whitworth Mill and be one of the main attractions on Peterborough’s South Bank once the revamp of the area is complete,

However, despite a planning application being submitted more than two years ago and Arts Council England handing over a grant of nearly £500,000, the plans have now been shelved.

Instead, the 19th century mill will become more apartments, adding to the 450-plus homes which are already planned for Fletton Quays.

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Peterborough City Council purchased the former mill building and site from Milton Estates at a cost of £750,000, with the new arts centre planned to include crafts, exhibitions and fringe shows.

It was also due to be the new home for the Metal arts group, which is currently based at Chauffeurs Cottage behind the Town Hall.

However, after being contacted by the Peterborough Telegraph the council admitted the planned centre was no longer going ahead. A spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that funding was not granted for an arts hub at Whitworth Mill. The site is the ideal location for this with its riverfront location and close proximity to both the city centre and other tourism and leisure attractions.

“The mill is an important component of the Fletton Quays site and it is important it is not left empty while the rest of the site is developed. The council will now be looking to generate income from the sale of the site.

“The right type of residential development would be in-keeping with the overall look and feel of the rest of the site. Alterations may be made to the building to facilitate a change of use, but its structural integrity should remain intact.”

The council had already received a £490,000 grant from Arts Council England for the arts centre but had applied for £1 million of additional funding from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

However, after the LEP disbanded it was unable to secure the extra money from its successor, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board.

The former mill will now be sold by informal tender.

The PT has attempted to contact Metal for comment.