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Next phase of university set to be discussed at Cabinet next week

13 January 2023

A second teaching building including a new ‘Living Lab’ public science facility at ARU Peterborough could move one step closer.

Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet will consider the third phase of the university project at its meeting on Monday (16 January).

The £28million investment - which includes £20million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund - recently secured planning permission. It will include a second teaching block incorporate a Living Lab.

The Living Lab will be an interactive science facility and education space aimed at engaging and inspiring residents and visitors to the city in science and technology. It will be open to the community as part of a pedestrian-friendly campus and will have the flexibility to host a variety of events, exhibitions, immersive displays, talks, forums and evening classes.

The second teaching facility will enable ARU Peterborough to broaden its curriculum, including into STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

It will enable the university to welcome additional students from 2024/25 to 2026/27 in a mixture of undergraduate, postgraduate, degree apprenticeship, work programme and short courses.

A full business case has shown there will be a huge benefit to Peterborough from the third phase of the university project, and approval for the development has already been granted by partners Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Skills Committee.

The Combined Authority’s Board will receive the recommendation to approve the full business case on 25 January for it to go ahead. If that approval is given, spades are expected in the ground in the spring, with completion in autumn 2024.

The first phase of the new university – its first teaching building, University House, – opened on time and within budget in September. The second phase - a research and innovation centre - has seen construction complete and occupation is anticipated for later this year.

Councillor Lynne Ayres, cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills and university, said: “ARU Peterborough has been a huge success story for the city, and it is so exciting that we could be moving closer to beginning phase three of the project.

“Through offering a wide range of courses which meet the demands of local employers, we are giving people the chance to embark on exciting careers while also boosting our city’s economy. Government funding for the university also shows there is a lot of faith in what we are doing – I can’t wait to see the first spades in the ground!”

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