Major step towards university for Peterborough

Published: 1 February 2006 at 11:46

Peterborough Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University have confirmed that they will be working in partnership to establish a University Centre in Peterborough.

The project will be funded through a joint venture company consisting of Peterborough Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University, with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and anticipated further funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

It is also intended that the development, strongly supported by EEDA, will spearhead a major investment in higher education in Peterborough, building on the highly successful top quality degree provision 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 University Centre is integral to the planned growth of higher education services for the Peterborough area and will be funded through the HEFCE Strategic Development Fund which is financing a number of similar developments across the region to increase access to HE. It is also intended that the developments, fully supported by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), will bring university expertise and resources closer to business and industry and help further improve certain sectors of the local economy.

The University Centre is to be developed on the current Regional College campus, in close proximity to the Thomas Deacon Academy, creating a new 'education quarter' for the city.

The Chair of Peterborough Regional College's Corporation Board, Martin Fisher said 

"This is a significant development for the city of Peterborough, and one which naturally builds on the College's success in the higher education arena", 

While Principal Don Lawson commented:

"We are pleased to be working with our partners at Anglia Ruskin to build on the excellent quality HE work already delivered in the College and to contribute towards the regeneration of Peterborough through the expansion of higher education in the city."

Anglia Ruskin University's Vice Chancellor, Professor David Tidmarsh said:

"This is an incredibly exciting time for students, businesses and the wider community of Peterborough. With this new joint venture partnership in place, we are confident that we can really extend the range of higher education services on offer."

"We are looking forward to linking up with Peterborough City Council, Opportunity Peterborough and the business community to make sure that we excel in the provision of higher education courses and business support that will benefit, not only the people of Peterborough, but also the fast-growing local economy."

"It is our vision to create a self-sustaining University campus for the city around which a reinvigorated business infrastructure can thrive."

Peterborough City Council's Cabinet member for Education, Councillor Geoff Ridgway, added:

"This is a thrilling development for higher and further education opportunities in Peterborough."

"Development of higher education within the city has been a priority for some years and I hope that this will be the important first step in achieving our long-term objectives. It will bring new opportunities for local youngsters to undertake undergraduate studies in the city and will increase the number of graduate qualified candidates for employment locally as well as being an integral part of the economic development of Peterborough."

EEDA's Chief Executive, David Marlow added:

"This is an exciting opportunity for Peterborough and we are pleased to be able to make it happen. The mere fact that it has its own university site will add to its already burgeoning reputation as a city looking towards the future."