Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich: Investments are starting to pay off
More and more we are getting clear indications that our investment in the growth of the city is paying off.
This week it was the announcement by House of Fraser that it will be opening a 750,000 square foot distribution centre in the city, generating up to 1,000 new jobs for our residents.
This is great news for Peterborough’s economy and is a huge vote of confidence in our city.
It’s not a stroke of luck that one of the best known high street names is investing in our city, but thanks to our fantastic position, close to many of the major routes and cities, and the investment we have made in our infrastructure to ensure we’re attractive to companies wanting to do business here.
You may recall that one of the main reasons we expanded the Fletton parkway was to improve access into the city from the south, in particular to support growth sites such as Gateway Peterborough. The benefits of that scheme far outweigh the £4.5million we paid towards the £18million project, in terms of job creation, investment in our community and the additional money we stand to make from business rates. Less than a year after completion, this has materialised with House of Fraser investing at Gateway Peterborough.
In the past three years Peterborough businesses have added almost 7,000 jobs to our economy and our private sector jobs market is now one of the most buoyant in the country. This is all helping to push our unemployment figures even further below the national average.
Every new business that we attract is a boost to our economy, whether it’s in terms of jobs for our residents, investment in our communities, or the extra revenue we make from business rates which we can use to provide services.
That’s why we continue to invest our time so heavily in encouraging new businesses to Peterborough and I’m pleased to say we and our partners at Opportunity Peterborough are in talks with a number of other big companies that are interested in doing business in our city.
Businesses also want to know that they are moving to a city with good facilities for employees and their families – and education is clearly always high on the list.
I’m proud that in Peterborough around nine out of every ten primary schools are rated good or better by Ofsted.
That figure has continued to increase even during a period of rapid growth in our school population. Since 2007 we have created more than 5,000 new primary school places.
Next week I will be attending the topping out ceremony for the new primary school being built on the former Peterborough District Hospital site.
The new building will allow West Town Primary Academy to relocate and expand from its existing site on Williamson Avenue.
Meanwhile, Monday saw the start of Foster Care Fortnight, the national campaign to attract more foster carers.
I often attend the annual fostering celebration at the Town Hall and meet some of the fantastic individuals who offer their homes and their hearts to support our most vulnerable children and young people.
As part of this year’s campaign, we’re looking to recruit more people who have the skills and experience to look after older children and teenagers.
If you can help and would like to find out more visit www.peterborough fostering.co.uk or please give us a call on 01733 317427.
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