Construction begins on new £30m university

A ceremonial spade in the ground event has marked the start of construction of ARU Peterborough, the city's new £30...

A ceremonial spade in the ground event has marked the start of construction of ARU Peterborough, the city's new £30 million university. Pictured from left: Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; and Cllr John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography / CPCA - Credit: Archant

Construction of a new £30m university in Peterborough is now officially underway.

ARU Peterborough is set to open in September 2022. An artists impression is pictured. Picture: CPCA

ARU Peterborough is set to open in September 2022. An artists impression is pictured. Picture: CPCA - Credit: Archant

Students will be able to access courses offered at the modern education facilities from September 2022.

The university will be known as ARU Peterborough, after its education provider Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

And this latest project milestone was marked with a groundbreaking ceremony.

James Palmer, the Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “Breaking the ground on the site is a huge milestone in the first phase of development for our ambitious employment-focused university that will be transformational for the city and wider region.

A ceremonial spade in the ground event has marked the start of construction of ARU Peterborough, the city's new £30...

A ceremonial spade in the ground event has marked the start of construction of ARU Peterborough, the city's new £30 million university. Pictured from left Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer and the Leader of Peterborough City Council Cllr John Holdich. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography - Credit: Mark Bullimore

“Today is a reminder of just how far we have come on a journey that will drastically improve the prospects of people in Peterborough and across the region while boosting the number of skilled workers available to businesses.”


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He added: “This is just phase one of this ambitious project which we hope to see delivered in its entirety by 2030.”

“I am looking forward to seeing the building work progress over the coming months...”

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The Combined Authority is one of the project’s key drivers, together with Peterborough City Council and ARU.

This is how the new University of Peterborough may look. Picture: CPCA

This is how the new University of Peterborough may look. Picture: CPCA - Credit: Archant

The university’s aim is to be job creating and employment-focused. It will deliver courses targeted specifically for industries based in Peterborough where demand of skilled workers currently outweighs their availability.

Among the funding secured includes £12.5m from the Local Growth Fund, £12.3m of capital investment from the Combined Authority and £1.6m in land investment from Peterborough County Council.

Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “As a council, investment in making our city a great place to live, work and relax is of the utmost importance.”

The university will initially accommodate 2,000 students and this will increase to 12,500 by 2030.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: “We are already in discussions with local businesses to make sure that the courses on offer will provide the right skills and qualifications to help generate economic growth across the city and the wider region.”

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