New body set up to run arts and culture services in Peterborough

Last month, arts, cultural, heritage and library services in Peterborough transferred from Vivacity to City College Peterborough.

By Joel Lamy
Sunday, 25th October 2020, 6:07 am
Peterborough Museum is now run by City College Peterborough
Peterborough Museum is now run by City College Peterborough

The handover came after not-for-profit trust Vivacity saw its finances decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the Peterborough Telegraph outlines how the new arrangement will work:

City College Peterborough

Pat Carrington

Based in Brook Street, the college is legally a department of Peterborough City Council but operates with an independent board of governors, which is chaired by council leader Cllr John Holdich.

Founded in 1944, the college provides opportunities for adult learners, school leavers, businesses and families.

City Culture Peterborough

The college has its own charitable arm called City College Peterborough Foundation. Its aims are to, among other things: reduce poverty, increase inclusion, increase employment and education and offer leisure opportunities which are inclusive.

The foundation has now created its own trading company called City Culture Peterborough Ltd which will run the former Vivacity services.

City Culture Peterborough will be not-for-profit, with any surplus re-invested into services.

Its three current directors are: Pat Carrington (City College Peterborough principal), Claire Higgins (chief executive of housing association Cross Keys Homes) and Tom Hennessy (chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough).

Other directors are expected to be appointed in the future.

How the relationships will work

City Culture Peterborough will be accountable both to its own foundation and the city council.

It is also part of a partnership board with the council and Peterborough Ltd which has taken on the running of leisure services previously run by Vivacity.

Peterborough Ltd is also a council body.

Asked if there was the potential for a conflict of interest due to the close ties with the council, Ms Carrington said: “One of the things that we are very mindful of is what we offer is for the city. So it’s important the engagement is there with other organisations, groups and individuals.”

She added that being a not-for-profit organisation means there will be no competitiveness, while other services will be promoted at venues run by City Culture Peterborough.

Why was City College Peterborough chosen to run services?

The college already looks after libraries in Cambridgeshire.

Ms Carrington said it was a “logical conversation” to discuss taking over library services in Peterborough following Vivacity’s collapse, adding: “Then as we began to unpick what the strengths of this would be it made sense to carry that out to heritage and the Key Theatre.

“As an organisation City College has a team which is used to running services for the council where we are there to deliver what local people want. It’s about the value we can give local people.”

Existing college management will work alongside staff transferred over from Vivacity.

Long-term, there is a plan to develop a new website and design a new logo.

This is one of a five part interview with Pat Carrington on the future of cultural services in Peterborough. All articles will appear on the Peterborough Telegraph’s website at: