New bridge over the River Nene in Peterborough ‘to cost £5m’

The Towns Fund bid includes a bridge over the River NeneThe Towns Fund bid includes a bridge over the River Nene
The Towns Fund bid includes a bridge over the River Nene
A new bridge over the River Nene will cost an estimated £5 million, it has been revealed.

As revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph a bridge linking the city’s new university by the Embankment and the landmark Fletton Quays development on the South Bank was part of Peterborough’s successful bid to the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

So far £23 million of funding has been approved, with the bid including a new library and cultural hub called The Vine at TK Maxx in Bridge Street.

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The city council has now revealed that the bridge, which is expected to be built in 2023/24, will cost an estimated £5 million to design and build.

Its design will “offer full access to all and will be low carbon and sustainable to further showcase the city’s environmental aspirations to become carbon zero by 2030,” the authority said.

A contribution of £2 million has already been secured from the Towns Fund with the surplus funding currently being sought from elsewhere.

Council leader Cllr John Holdich told the PT recently that the authority was seeking private funding after the project was pushed forward a year.

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Public consultation on the plans for the bridge will be taking place in autumn/winter 2021.

Peterborough’s Towns Fund Board is developing full business cases for the projects being funded by the Government. When each is signed off, Peterborough will receive the cash needed to develop each project.

The deadline to complete all business cases is December 31, with the board trying to get the first signed off at the end of this month.

The following 10 projects will be delivered with a mix of Towns Fund cash and funding from other sources:

Visitor Attractions

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The Vine Culture Hub – A new library, culture and community hub, located in the current TK Maxx building and designed to increase pedestrian traffic along Bridge Street and to the city centre.

Peterborough Museum extension – To create a new Bronze Age extension to house the globally significant Must Farm boats which were discovered at nearby Flag Fen. The long- term aim of this project will be to market the museum, Flag Fen and Whittlesey Heritage Centre as ‘must see’ UK and international tourist trail, boosting the local economy.

Activity Centre - Developing a new family fitness and sports facility with a specialist Olympic standard facility including new training/competition areas, family entertainment and an outdoor performance space and room for spectators.

Regeneration and Infrastructure

Station Quarter - Creating a welcoming entrance to the city for visitors by creating architecture on the 17-acre plot over the next decade that leads people on foot towards the city centre.

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Masterplan Embankment/Middleholme - To create a green, accessible place for residents to relax and enjoy for leisure and entertainment purposes, linking in with the new planned university and potential new stadium for Peterborough United and creating footfall to and from the city centre.

River frontage upgrade - To improve Peterborough’s river frontage onto the River Nene, making it an attractive place for residents, workers and visitors to spend time throughout the seasons. This will include lighting, seating and footpaths designed to maximise the view of the river.

River Nene Pedestrian Bridge - A pedestrian/cycle bridge linking the Embankment and university with Fletton Quays and existing riverside paths. The bridge will be designed to become a local landmark and reduce vehicle use in the city centre.

Lincoln Road upgrade - Improve the look and feel of Lincoln Road by upgrading cycle and pedestrian paths, creating new public areas and adding trees and plants to encourage people to spend more time in the area walking and cycling, helping to boost the local economy.

Skills and Enterprise

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Enterprise incubation and training hub feasibility study - To deliver a feasibility study for an enterprise incubation and training hub in the city, which could help business start-ups with market analysis, including market trends, case studies, supply/demand, competitor analysis, client analysis and gap analysis and locating property and potential partners.

Skills in green technology for constructive and automotive industries - Developing new courses for students in green technology motor vehicle/construction industries, with close links to the new university. This will enable more residents to become ‘job ready’ in these upcoming in-demand roles.

Luke Hall, minister for regional growth and local government, said: “It is great to see how our £22.9 million Towns Fund investment will help revitalise Peterborough city centre, supporting it to build back better from the pandemic.

“From the Vine library and culture hub and Station Quarter improvements to a museum extension, we’re backing a wide range of projects which will help Peterborough flourish for generations to come.

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“The Towns Fund is part of this Government’s mission to level up places across the country, delivering opportunities and prosperity for all.”

Matthew Bradbury, CEO of Nene Park Trust and private sector chair of the Peterborough Towns Board, said: “Since we found out we were set to receive this £22.9 million we have had our foot firmly pressed to the floor to do everything we are required to by government to prove the money will be spent wisely and to allow funds to be released.

“This Towns Fund cash is a turning point for the city and will be remembered for many years to come in terms of the positive effect that it had on revitalising the look, feel, culture, skills of our residents and economic impact of Peterborough and the knock-on benefits this will have for everyone who lives here.”

Cllr Holdich said: “The time is now for Peterborough. The regeneration of the city over the past decade has meant that we have been able to bounce-back economically following each lockdown better than most.

“This extra funding will help us to achieve a vision for an even better place to live, work and play in the coming years and will help us to bounce-back better following Covid-19.”