Stadium, bridge and jobs plan unveiled
AMBITIOUS plans to create 5,000 jobs, rebuild Peterborough United’s stadium and revamp the riverside are among the key projects needed to revitalise the city, business VIPs were told yesterday.
The vision was revealed by regeneration expert David Taylor at Peterborough City Council’s Growth Conference, among them his hopes to launch an international design competition to build a new footbridge to link the Embankment with the River Nene’s south bank.
Referring to Peterborough as a city that “punches below its weight”, Mr Taylor said the city centre was poorly arranged and expressed a desire to get rid of the Bourges Boulevard dual-carriageway to make it more pedestrian friendly.
He said: “It is my contention that Peterborough is a city that punches well below its weight, and that it’s a city whose best assets are also its biggest liabilities.
“Its assets include the railway line, its road system and the River Nene, but they bisect the city which seperates the city into quarters as opposed to it being whole.
“We need to change this and de- livery, delivery, delivery is the key way to bring this about. Nothing succeeds like success.”
Peterborough Delivery Partnership (PDP), for whom Mr Taylor is working, said the Station Quarter revamp will be hopefully used to lure 5,000 Government jobs, which are set to be moved out of London.
And Mr Taylor, who masterminded the building of the City of Manchester Stadium and is on the Olympics 2012 development committee, said plans were moving quickly to transform the London Road football ground into a community stadium.
A proposal unveiled at the conference stated one of the stands would be rebuilt from “the bottom up”, seeing an education facility created in one of the stands.
Mr Taylor also said talks were taking place with retailer Asda about a potential move from its store in Rivergate, so that more properties facing onto the river could be built in the future.
The projects would be funded with help from the creation of a public limited company called Communites and Provident, which would approach long-term investment companies such as pension firms and insurances companies on behalf of PDP and the city council.
The blueprint for the city was warmly received by business representatives and local dignitaries alike, with Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson saying: “It’s positive to see the public and private sectors working together to bring the city out of the recession.”
John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said he was encouraged by the 80 potential investors who turned up for the conference and encouraged by the bold vision for the city.
He said: “If we were planning our city now it wouldn’t look like what it does, so we have got to look at what heritage we leave behind.”
At the start of the conference, council chief executive Gillian Beasley revealed it would still be looking to build 25,000 homes by 2026, despite the Government scrapping Regional Spatial Strategies from which the target originated.
Council leader Marco Cereste agreed, saying every new house brings further funding to the local economy. Write to The Evening Telegraph, 57 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JW, text PETCOM and your message to 81800, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at peterboroughtoday.co.uk
VISION: Peterborough City Council leader Marco Cereste (left) with English Partnership’s David Taylor overlooking Bourges Boulevard, which could be altered if new visions for Peterborough city centre become a reality. (METP-17-06-10DL041)
TOP TALK: (From left) Andrew Edwards, David Taylor, Ben Ticehurst, Gavin Elsey, Keith Bayliss, Richard Astle and Gillian Beasley at the conference. (METP-17-06-10DL003)