Combined Authority approves University of Peterborough Full Business Case


Aerial view, Peterborough University. Photo: CPCA

Following announcements in May and July of first the Construction Partner, MACE, and then Academic Delivery Partner, Anglia Ruskin University, a Full Business Case (FBC) has been produced by the CPCA.

Approval of this FBC is the last step in the process before construction can begin in October 2020.

At its meeting this week the CPCA Board, Kim Cooke, Project Lead for the new University of Peterborough said: “The paper before the board seeks approval of the FBC for the University of Peterborough so that we can mobilise Phase One of the project.

“We’re also seeking delegated authority for the Director of Business and Skills, John T. Hill, to complete the legalised documentation that we need to mobilise the build of the new university.

“The FBC comprises the Strategic, Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management cases modelling the ‘Green Book’ in line with HM Treasury Central Government guidance on appraisal and evaluation.

“These proposals were discussed at the Skills Committee meeting on 6 July 2020, where they were endorsed unanimously by those present.

“Part of the FBC discusses our Academic Delivery Partner, Anglia Ruskin University, and the operational model that they are going to use to develop the curriculum.

“Planning permission for Phase One was submitted on Friday of last week.”

Leader of the Council, Cllr John Holdich, a long-time advocate of the University project was delighted, and responded: “I’ve been working on this project for about seven years now when we inherited a scheme that was going nowhere from the old Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

“We gave them six months to come up with something tangible, but nothing happened.

“However, thanks to the intervention of the CPCA, Mayor, James Palmer and hard work from John T. Hill and Kim Cooke as well as MACE, our construction partners, we’ve now made this happen.

“It’s been a dream for Peterborough, and I think it’s the best thing that has happened to our city in the past 50 years.

“And who would’ve guessed that we would have Phase Two ready to go so early?

“It was in fact the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ scheme, given to the CPCA, that will pay for this; otherwise I doubt we would’ve had the money for Phase Two for at least another five years.

“I also want to pay tribute to the CPCA Business Board because they answered all questions on whether the project was robust enough and whether it could survive COVID-19.

“They asked some very searching business questions and satisfied themselves that this FBC is indeed fit for purpose, both now and for the future.

“Thanks to everybody, ARU Peterborough will be a great credit to our city.”

The Business case was approved by the board.

The first four faculties of ARU Peterborough will be: The Faculty of Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; The Faculty of Creative and Digital Arts and Sciences; The Faculty of Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability; and The Faculty of Health and Education.

They will be offering degree courses and degree apprenticeships for 2,000 students from September 2022, with the ambition to offer courses for up to 12,500 by 2030.

By Rob Alexander

Local Democracy Reporting Service