University Centre Peterborough springs to life

Published: 19 January 2009 at 10:16

Ground breaking marks the start of the first phase of construction activity at the site of the new ‘education sector'

Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Regional College have today (19 January) jointly hosted a ground breaking event to herald the start of building at The University Centre development on the College’s Park Crescent campus.

The joint venture between the two educational institutions will see the reshaping and redefining of 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, Martin Fisher, Chair of Corporation Board and Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, ceremonially cut the ground at the site to celebrate progress in front of an audience of local dignitaries and representatives from education and industry.

The images and plans for Peterborough’s flagship University Centre were revealed in March 2008, providing the first detailed look of the new ‘education quarter’ for Peterborough.  Less than a year on, work is beginning on the £8.5m purpose built facility for the use of higher education students. Work is expected to be completed by September 2009.

Speaking before the ceremony, Professor Michael Thorne said:

“This new Centre is eagerly anticipated and awaited by everyone from Peterborough. I am confident that this new higher education centre will make a substantial contribution to providing the higher level skills needed for prosperity. We are looking to support the people of Peterborough and produce a more vibrant economy for the benefit of future generations.”

Don Lawson added:

“The future success of the city depends on the collaborative working that is taking place to make The University Centre work for everyone from the area.  Today is the start of a very exciting period of development and the result of a dedicated effort between Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Regional College. Now we will be able to watch the physical growth of this new and much sought after University Centre.”

Facilities will include state-of-the-art teaching rooms, a large lecture hall and conference rooms, as well as a higher education study area, a café and a ‘one-stop shop’ student support centre for Peterborough.

The University Centre development will provide the majority of degree programmes for the city, with additional locations also being sought for sector-related programmes for industry, in particular financial services and engineering and manufacturing.

The University Centre development is being 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), the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).  It is a part of a major re-development of the Park Crescent Campus with a new £100m Further Education College building also due to be opening in 2012.

The new Centre will build on the top quality higher education 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.