University Centre Peterborough opening will 'lift aspirations'

Press release issued: 5 March 2010



Celebrating the opening of the University Centre Peterborough: (Left-right) Allan Arnott, Chairman of the University Centre Peterborough; The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Irene Walsh; The Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property; Don Lawson, Principal of Peterborough Regional College; and Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University

Celebrating the opening of the University Centre Peterborough

(Left-right) Allan Arnott, Chairman of the University Centre Peterborough; The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Irene Walsh; The Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property; Don Lawson, Principal of Peterborough Regional College; and Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Regional College have today (4 March) jointly opened the £10 million University Centre Peterborough facility for higher education students on the College's Park Crescent campus.

The ultra-contemporary, 3,000 square metre education space was officially opened by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property who toured the features building including its 92-seat lecture theatre, a range of multi-purpose seminar and teaching rooms, state of the art computer laboratories, student social areas and a planned café.

The Minister talked about the Government's vision for Higher Education for the future including the need to maintain the UK's reputation for excellence during changing global economic conditions.

Impressed with the collaboration and rigor behind the development project, he said:

"This is an excellent example of new-generation Higher Education working at its best within the UK. This joint venture opportunity mirrors the success of some of the top-performing universities around the globe which grow to match the provision demanded by the communities they represent.

"Peterborough is ready for this quality provision of learning, teaching and research. I look forward to watching University Centre Peterborough grow in scope and strength as it lifts aspirations and develops over the months and years ahead."

The joint venture between the two educational institutions will reshape and redefine the higher education provision on offer in the East of England to meet the needs of students, employers and local communities.

Don Lawson, Principal of Peterborough Regional College; Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University; and Allan Arnott, Chairman of University Centre Peterborough watched the Minister perform the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in front of an audience of local dignitaries and representatives from education and industry.
Speaking about one of the city's newest builds, Anglia Ruskin University's Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne, commented:

"The new University Centre Peterborough building has a strong visual presence which clearly defines it as a place of Higher Education where students will benefit from world-class teaching, learning and research facilities. It is not only a new landmark for Peterborough but the start of a new era of thinking for individuals and businesses from the area."

Endorsing these views, Don Lawson, Principal of Peterborough Regional College, said:

"This is a day of great significance for Peterborough. We are delighted to say that University Centre Peterborough is now firmly on the map and that the infrastructure of the city will benefit greatly from this new and exciting, education and training hub."

Allan Arnott, Chairman of the University Centre Peterborough, and director of Perkins Engines, concluded:

"The official opening today of the University Centre Peterborough building is a real milestone in Peterborough's journey towards being a fully fledged University city and symbolises a quantum leap forward in the quality and availability of higher education provision. Business leaders should welcome this new asset and proactively work alongside the teaching and research staff to help boost economic activity and longer term prosperity."

The new campus will build on the top quality degree provision that has been offered in the city through Peterborough Regional College over the last twelve years, and complement the work Anglia Ruskin is already undertaking in Peterborough in health education and economic development.

The images and plans the flagship building for University Centre Peterborough were first revealed in March 2008, providing the first detailed look of the new education quarter for Peterborough. Work on the new building was completed in October 2009. The doors opened to 850 higher education students the following month.

University Centre Peterborough is already running a wide portfolio of degree-level courses for students from the area. Over 30 subject pathways are now available for individuals to choose from, with a range of new courses being validated this year. Specialist subject areas centre on business, education, social sciences, IT, engineering and construction.

There are many opportunities available for local businesses to work with University Centre Peterborough on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), student bursaries and other education and training initiatives.

The University Centre Peterborough development is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
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