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Chancellor visits ARU Peterborough site

Published: 18 November 2021 at 17:00

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak is given tour of new ARU campus set to open in September 2022

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak visited the construction site of the new ARU Peterborough campus today to see how £20 million of government investment will transform the former derelict city centre brownfield site.

The new university campus, based at the Embankment, will help boost Peterborough’s economic recovery, creating more than 500 jobs and help develop the skills needed for the future. It is a partnership between the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

The Government’s investment will help develop phase 3 of ARU Peterborough. Part of the campus space will also be open to the public, showcasing the city’s net-zero future through events and exhibitions - including ‘festivals of ideas’, immersive displays and evening classes.

Peterborough is one of the five places in the East of England which received a share of £87 million from the first round of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, as announced by the Chancellor in last month’s Budget.

The Chancellor also met business owners in the city centre who will benefit from the extra footfall generated by the university, including Bean Around coffee shop on Cathedral Square, Niro Fashion in Cumbergate and Fleur by Lizz in Queensgate.

The Living Lab, part of the phase 3 development, will be the centrepiece of the new University Quarter Cultural Hub, and is expected to attract 50,000 visitors a year. ARU Peterborough is due to open in September 2022, to up to 2,000 students and will continue to develop over the decade.

This investment to create the University Living Lab and additional teaching space, follow £23 million from the Towns Fund, which will fund a range of projects including ‘The Vine’ library, culture and community hub, that will regenerate the city centre.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, said: 
“One of our key priorities is to level up the UK by spreading jobs, investment and opportunity.

“So it has been fantastic to come to Peterborough and see levelling up in action, with £20 million from our Levelling Up Fund transforming the city-centre site into a vibrant cultural hub that local people can be proud of, all while boosting jobs and the economy.”

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: 
“The university already has Levelling Up funding and it is our intention to submit a bid to Government for additional funding to redevelop the Station Quarter. It was fantastic to welcome the Chancellor to our city to show him how extra Government cash can really make a difference.”

Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, said: 
“This new Levelling Up funding will help us deliver state-of-the-art facilities which will be of enormous benefit to our students, the people of the Peterborough and the wider region.

“The new development will include a publicly accessible science resource, called The Living Lab, which will be at the heart of the city’s new University Quarter. This will improve Peterborough’s cultural offering and create an exciting destination for both locals and visitors.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: 
“Making the case to Government for investment in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is a vital part of what the Combined Authority does. So it is very welcome that the Chancellor has seen first-hand progress at the ARU Peterborough site as well as the results of investment to improve the city centre.”

MP Paul Bristow, said: 
“A university is a decades-long ambition for Peterborough that is now happening before our eyes. ARU Peterborough will make a big impact to our long-term economic viability as a city and the day to day quality of life for its residents.”

Photograph courtesy of HM Treasury