Peterborough City Market could get new home as regeneration of Northminster moves forward

Peterborough City Market could be given a new home to allow for the regeneration of Northminster in Peterborough city.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 3:16 pm

The city council today (Monday) announced that it is set to transfer the land - including the market, the multi-storey car park and Laxton Square - to the Peterborough Investment Partnership (PIP) which is currently leading the revamp of Fletton Quays on Peterborough’s South Bank.

The PIP will then prepare plans for Northminster with a view to securing planning permission and attracting outside investment.

It is expected that redevelopment of the area will include apartments, a new car park and a market hall.

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Peterborough City Market

However, while works take place existing market traders will be forced to re-locate, and there is no guarantee they will return to their current home, although the council has insisted there will be a permanent market in Peterborough going forward.

A spokeswoman said: “The existing market is 57 years old and in need of modernisation or replacement and this investment in Northminster will one way or another allow us to achieve that.

“The market traders would need to vacate the existing site whilst any works were taking place. During this time we would look to provide a market from another location, but it is too soon to speculate on where that might be.

“Peterborough’s market is a charter market, meaning it was established by Royal consent, so there is a legal requirement for there to be a market somewhere in the city.

The Northminster car park

“Going forward, this could be on the Northminster site or elsewhere, but with the plans for the site being at a very early stage it is too soon to speculate. We also value having a market in the city, as do many residents and visitors.”

There has been much speculation that housing was a long-term option for the site after the council last year said it was demolishing the multi-storey car park as it was no longer safe to use.

And the spokeswoman added: “Given the changes in the retail landscape, with more people shopping online and out of town, it is likely that new development at Northminster will be residential led.”

Any development of the area would tie in with the authority’s masterplan to completely revamp the entire city centre in the years to come.

Recently, the council unveiled plans for a £43 million revamp of the Station Quarter with a state-of-the-art station gateway building, a new office park and surrounding retail facilities.

Cllr David Seaton, cabinet member for resources, said: “Northminster is an important part of our city centre, within walking distance from the bus and railway stations, but does not receive the investment and footfall it should at the moment because it is dilapidated and in need of regeneration.

“Many of the buildings were constructed during the 1970s and are showing their age, a number of restaurant and leisure related businesses have closed down and there are few prime retail outlets. The planned relocation of the Passport Office to Fletton Quays will cause a further loss of local footfall.

“We know that without regeneration and investment the Northminster area will experience further decline and we cannot allow this to happen.

“The PIP has done a fantastic job leading the regeneration of Fletton Quays which has lifted that whole area of our city centre and will provide a location for people to live, work and play. The announcement of plans for a government hub and the construction of a Hilton hotel are the most recent signs of the success of the PIP model.

“We want to see the same bright future for Northminster. We expect there to be interest from developers to take this site forward once the PIP has completed the ground work.”

Initial work has already been undertaken by local architects to assess the site’s potential, the council said.

The regeneration of Fletton Quays has seen the council relocate to new offices on the site, while once the development is completed there will be hundreds of apartments, a Hilton hotel, a gin and whisky distillery, a government building and leisure facilities.

Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is an exciting time for Peterborough; our economy and high street are thriving, we’ve got the new university and New Towns funding on its way and, crucially, the backing of the (Peterborough and Cambridgeshire) Combined Authority to help us make the progression towards a city realising its ambitions.

“Northminster is one of the sites included in the City Centre Local Development Framework which will deliver a city centre that will herald a new era for Peterborough, one in which we can use investor money to secure our ongoing economic success and to create a centre that rivals the likes of larger cities like Birmingham and Manchester.

“We know investors are already interested – just look at the new government hub relocation to Fletton Quays, the recent revamp of John Lewis and the forthcoming multi-screen Empire Cinema (at Queensgate).

“The next four years will be crucial to delivering a Peterborough that’s an even better place to work, live and play for the next 50 to 100 years.”

PIP is a joint venture between the council and Lucent Strategic Land Fund. The council transfers the land into the partnership and Lucent the funding, and then when a site has gained planning permission it will be sold and both parties take a share of the profits.

Any profit is divided proportionately between the council and Lucent according to each party’s contribution to each scheme, a council spokeswoman said.