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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 17 February

17 February 2023

Our ongoing goal to make Peterborough an even better place to live, work and play took another step forward this week.

On Monday the council’s cabinet members and I approved funding allocations for eight exciting projects which will enhance our communities and drive growth, including a state-of-the-art Youth Zone, community art project and digital incubator.

This comes after the government announced that Peterborough would receive over £2.5million via the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) as part of The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which was another fantastic boost for us.

You can find out more about the eight projects on our website – www.peterborough.gov.uk, but I’ve summarised some of the plans below, which will now move forward.

A special Youth Zone providing activities run by highly skilled youth workers will be developed, showing that we believe in young people and are investing in their future.

A community art project will be set up as part of the bigger Towns Fund project, rejuvenating the public realm in the Lincoln Road area and creating a sense of pride in the community.

Students, entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses will get access to vital support through a Digital Incubator, which is a virtual programme delivered online through the ARU Living Lab and the Allia Future Business Centre.

As part of our goal to become a net zero carbon city by 2030, we're setting up a Community Carbon Literacy programme, delivering environmental training to help people develop carbon reduction projects.

An adaption plan for Peterborough will be developed, addressing the predicted local impacts of climate change, ensuring health, financial stability of residents and businesses, delivery of public services and protection of the local environment.

A new Cultural Strategy for Peterborough, developed with partners, will assist our growth plans, encourage investment and promote community and economic development.

The remaining allocation for Peterborough will be used to support an area wide skills programme across three CPCA skills projects - Holistic Online skills support, Internships and All Age Careers Service. In addition, an area wide fly-tipping project will be supported.

I’ve been a councillor for several years and one of the best aspects of the role is getting out and meeting people, especially those who make a real difference in our communities.

Last week I was honoured to join a special event at Peterborough Cathedral to help promote the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF). This proactive and philanthropic group is dedicated to improving the quality of life for local people, especially the most vulnerable.

It was fascinating to hear about their work and how they’re striving to empower people. The CCF identifies the critical needs of communities, raising funds and grants for non-profit organisations that can address these needs.

Their aims align with many of ours – regular readers will know how proud I am of our ongoing work to help the most vulnerable in our communities. The CCF are looking to increase their profile in Peterborough and we will be looking to support their vital work where possible.

To find out more about the CCF and how you can support them visit www.cambscf.org.uk

On the subject of inspirational organisations, I also paid a visit to the new Magpas Air Ambulance HQ at Alconbury Weald last week.

The site, which is under construction and due to be operational in June, was recently visited by Princess Anne and was specifically chosen by Magpas to ensure their life-saving services are based even closer to people living in Peterborough. It’s going to be a fantastic facility and I look forward to seeing it completed.

The amazing work that Magpas do was highlighted by my friend Phil Hayes, who suffered life-threatening injuries when his car flipped and rolled several times, landing on its roof in a ditch and leaving him trapped with a broken neck. Magpas flew hospital level care to Phil and instead of being left paralysed he was able to make a great recovery.

Magpas must raise £6million a year to run their vital service and organise a variety of fund-raising events. To find out more and how you can support them visit www.magpas.org.uk

For school pupils and families enjoying the half-term break this week, I’m pleased to say there is plenty going on in Peterborough.

One such event is a special art exhibition called ‘Made in 2022’ being hosted at the Cathedral and featuring artwork depicting the past 12 months in creative form. Last year featured many significant events including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate extremes and the death of our much-loved Queen and I’m definitely planning to see this fascinating collection of art.

Looking further ahead, a charity curry night is taking place on Tuesday 28 February to help raise funds for good causes supported by the Mayor of Peterborough. The event takes place from 6pm and for £25 per ticket guests will receive a three-course meal and an evening of unique entertainment.

If you would like to reserve a ticket or learn more about the event, please contact Cllr Ansar Ali directly: Ansar.Ali@peterborough.gov.uk or contact the Mayor’s office: mayor@peterborough.gov.uk