Revealed: The five-year plan for Peterborough city centre

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Peterborough city centre

More events and a desire to build a stronger community and networking base were also among the aims of the Peterborough Business Improvement District (BID) plan, which could bring in around £2m of additional investment in the next five years.

Spearheaded by the Peterborough Positive campaign, the plan, which was launched yesterday, intends to give local organisations more of a say in their future in the next five years.

The aim is to join the 320 other BIDs across the UK, and ultimately aims to pool resources and knowledge to create an environment which brings increased footfall and spend to our city centre.

Around 430 businesses in the city centre are eligible, stretching from the train station and Rivergate across to the current market place and Fletton Quays.

Should eligible businesses approve the BID following a vote in October, services would begin on April 1 next year and end on March 31, 2027. 

Each property would pay a levy of 1.5% of its rateable value (if that value is over £15,000), which would be ring-fenced for use only in the area. Peterborough City Council would collect the levy, and the maximum amount payable would be £12,000.

Included in the proposals, unveiled at a launch meeting at Peterborough Cathedral, were plans to create more events and increased communication with public transport providers to understand demand across the city.

Consultation began in late 2019, although it stalled with the onset of the Covid pandemic before resuming earlier this year. Now it is hoped the BID can progress if a majority of eligible businesses approve it.

The brochure states that: 

  • The BID will "dress the streets with interesting art and culture that creates a stunning environment for people to enjoy. Our streets will be the envy of other cities, showcasing floral displays, cultural points of interest, colourful displays and creative spaces".
  • It will work with partners to "create events which entertain and encourage footfall in the city, as well as working in partnership to develop a high street that bucks the trend and keeps a strong, diverse retail sector in Peterborough".
  • An aim to review the existing provision of signage with a view to improving navigation of the city and highlighting attractions.
  • Create 'city quarters' to build the city's credentials for heritage, culture, retail and hospitality.
  • An aim to "improve communication and help target resources to reduce shop theft and illegal activity in the city centre".
  • The BID will work to reduce the level of begging and anti-social behaviour in the city centre, and will support initiatives to combat crime.

The BID will be overseen by a board of 14 members, including Dave Cramp of Peterborough Cathedral, Marco Cereste, Peterborough Council's cabinet member for digital services, Dinesh Odedra of The Banyan Tree, Paul Moraji of Niro Fashion, Rachel Nicholls, principal of Peterborough College, and Matthew Bradbury of Nene Park Trust.

Peterborough Positive chair Mark Broadhead, who is also Centre Director of Queensgate, urged businesses to vote 'yes' in the upcoming ballot.

He said: "The businesses that have taken part in our consultation recognise the need for urgent action in addressing the climate crisis and transitioning to a greener, safer and more resilient economy. 

"The BID will actively engage with the community to achieve [a] positive social and economic impact and to ensure that local views and needs inform the projects we work on.

"It will provide businesses with a genuine voice and leadership role in shaping a more attractive, appealing and sustainable city centre."

The BID launch - one of those who supported the campaign was Eve Warner of Lightbox Cafe. By John Baker