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Riverside development hopes to turn Embankment into year-round destination

Progress is being made on a major project that will make the Embankment a vibrant destination that is used all year round.
Artist's impression of how the university will look
The university campus will make up one part of the regeneration project at the Embankment (Photo: CPCA)

A feasibility study is being conducted for the 'masterplan' of the Embankment by consultancy firm WSP.

The development of the 90-acre city centre area is set to include the new university campus, a proposed new stadium for Peterborough United, a pedestrian footbridge to Fletton Quays and improvement of the river space to utilise the open green space along the stretch of the river. Assets such as the Lido and Key Theatre will be retained.

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for strategic planning, commercial strategy and investment at Peterborough City Council, said: "While our Embankment is a wonderful place in our city centre, so much of it is currently underutilised, particularly in the dark autumn and winter months, when the grass is wet and muddy and few people venture far as it's poorly lit.

"Likewise, while many other cities showcase their river frontage, ours has always been a bit hidden and tucked away. What we want to do is retain the huge expanse of green space around the river and encourage more people to visit and make use of it, not just in the summer months, but all year round."

The feasibility study will demonstrate how these developments could function, with the university campus hoping to bring in up to 12,500 students by 2030 and the new multi-purpose stadium proposing a capacity of 19,500. The stadium has plans to host up to 200 events a year, subject to approval, and this, along with the increase in footfall to the area, would need to operate in a way that preserves the river landscape.

Ashley Dunseath, head of masterplanning at WSP, said: "The Embankment will become synonymous with prestigious enhancement, reflecting Peterborough's ambitious plans for sustainable growth. WSP is delighted to lead this first stage to explore the parameters for a consultation on a comprehensive masterplan, and to be working with the city council towards the creation of an engaging place for the local community."

Funding for the study has come from Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough United Property to secure investment in the next stage of this major enhancement project. An application of financial support has been made to the government's Towns Fund.