The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has released the next phase of funding for the University of Peterborough following a meeting of the Skills Committee.
Commitment from the Combined Authority had been called into question with concerns over funding streams for key projects.
But this latest injection of cash demonstrates the importance of the University of Peterborough as a key feature of the devolution deal agreed with central government.
The Combined Authority sees the creation and development of the university as critical for the growth of the local economy and in addressing skills shortages as “Peterborough is a cold spot for higher education and skills” according to John Hill, Director of Business and Skills.
He added: “There is a long-standing ambition between public sector partners, employers and the residents of Peterborough and the surrounding areas to have a University in the city.”
Capital funding for the project currently stands at £13.83m (from the Combined Authority), which could rise to as much as £20m if required.
At the Skills Committee meeting on Wednesday, leader of Peterborough City Council, Cllr John Holdich, confirmed the timetable:
1) April-May 2019: Procure a programme management team to deliver the University Action Plan - £25,000.
2) June-November 2019: Run a university delivery partner selection process to confirm the best choice of academic partner. Agree a delivery plan to 2030 - £60,000.
3) June 2019-March 2020: Site assessments, planning preparation and permissions - £100,000.
4) June-December 2019: Engage consultants to work alongside the Combined Authority to co-develop and deliver an Outline Business Case for approval at in October 2019. Specify curriculum, delivery modes and buildings - £100,000.
5) January-June 2020: Run procurement competition for design and build contractors. Agree Prospectus for the University. - £200,000.
6) January-June 2020: Develop the Outline Business Case into a Full Business Case (FBC) to enable approval to award contracts to develop the university buildings - £50,000
7) July-December 2020: Construction, design and planning.
8) January 2021-Summer 2022: Mobilisation and capital build.
9) September 2022: Doors open for 2000 students.
Members agreed to release £300,000 from the 2019/20 capitalprogramme to deliver items 3 and 5, and approved the release of an additional £235,000 from the non-transport feasibility funding in the revenue budget for 2019/20 to deliver items 1, 2, 4 and 6.