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Leader Mohammed Farooq's column January 18

18 January 2024

Our exciting plans to develop and grow our city are the most ambitious proposals we have seen for decades.

Regeneration is already happening around us at Fletton Quays, the University and Northminster to name just three examples, but there is so much more in the pipeline which will benefit everyone for generations to come.

To help share our vision for growth we’ve launched a new investment prospectus, highlighting many investment opportunities across the city and outlining how we can realise our huge potential.

The front cover features a striking photo and headline taking inspiration from British Rock: ‘Peterborough – talking ‘bout regeneration’. The prospectus invites investors to choose Peterborough, which is on the cusp of a regeneration revolution.

It highlights our key development projects such as the first phase of the Station Quarter redevelopment which has secured £48million of Levelling Up funding from government, to accelerate the creation of a new iconic, double-sided station along the East Coast Main Line.

Other schemes featured include developing derelict land parcels such as car parks, delivering executive homes in a city centre location and expanding the city’s higher education offer.

Our priorities for city centre regeneration are also detailed in the guide, along with the council’s innovative approaches towards achieving carbon zero, upskilling the population and enhancing connectivity and infrastructure.

The prospectus is a detailed and exciting read, highlighting our vision of Peterborough as a city of outstanding opportunity. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and what we can accomplish, so we hope this ever-evolving guide will be received with enthusiasm and excitement.

Why not have a read yourself – the prospectus is available to download at www.peterborough.gov.uk and paper copies can be requested by emailing info@investinpeterborough.co.uk

As mentioned, the Station Quarter development is one of our key regeneration schemes which will transform the facility and area around it.

The council, who along with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, successfully secured £48million of Levelling Up Funds for the scheme, have now submitted an Outline Business Case for the project, marking a significant milestone and a step towards getting spades in the ground.

Subject to feedback and approval, a full business case will then be submitted later this year, with public consultation events to be held as part of the submission – enabling residents to have their say on the plans.

The project involves creating a new western entrance to the station with a car park – forming a double-sided station – with a new wider footbridge over the train lines.

The development will alleviate pressure on city centre roads, making it easier and safer to travel around the city by bicycle. Green areas with biodiversity, community spaces and better connections to the city centre will also make it safer and more attractive for bikes and pedestrians.

Our new university ARU Peterborough has gone from strength to strength since opening in 2022 and the third phase of its development – a new ‘Living Lab’ science facility - will soon be open, broadening the facility’s curriculum as well as hosting events, immersive displays, talks and evening classes.

On Tuesday I was honoured to attend a special ‘topping out ceremony’ for the ‘Living Lab’, marking significant progress with the construction of this new building and another milestone for education and skills in Peterborough.

The Living Lab will help students to gain qualifications in emerging new science technologies and sectors that cutting edge companies are looking to grow. This in turn promotes growth in the economy and creates more high paying jobs, making our city an even better place to live, work and play.

We are inviting residents to remember the suffering and sacrifice of millions of people killed in genocides across the world including the Holocaust, at a poignant commemoration service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day next week.

The event will take place at St John the Baptist Church on Thursday 25 January at 12noon, with the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Nick Sandford, leading a civic procession from the Town Hall at around 11.40am to Cathedral Square.

Here, drama students from St Fisher Catholic High School in Park Lane, Peterborough, will perform a piece on the Guildhall, based on this year's Holocaust Memorial Day theme 'Fragility of Freedom'.

Please come along if you can, but if you can’t attend, the event will be broadcast on the council's Facebook and YouTube channels for anyone who wants to watch it live.

Last week I was lucky enough to visit the ‘Mars: War and Peace’ exhibition at Peterborough Cathedral and would urge everyone to see it whilst it is here.

The fascinating exhibition runs until January 29, giving visitors a chance to consider the history of human conflict around the world. It really is spectacular and thought-provoking, featuring the sounds of seas, deserts and clips from NASA missions to Mars. Visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk for more details.