Planning permission has been granted for phase two of the new Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough, whilst phase one is already under construction.

Peterborough City Council’s Planning and Environmental Committee granted the permission for the £16.7 million Manufacturing and Materials Research and Development Centre building on June 15.

The centre will form part of the Embankment area of the campus, providing 3,330 square metres of flexible research space spanning three floor, whilst transforming the underused Wirrina car park into green landscaped space also accessible to the public.

The new building will be a joint venture between Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough based Photocentric. It will help connect local industry via innovation and collaboration with materials technologies, such as 3D printing research, sustainable plastics, and new batteries.

Construction of phase one of the development is already underway and is set to open to its first 2,000 students in September 2022.

Mayor of Cambridge and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson said ““This is another step forward in what has been a long-held ambition within the city. Peterborough is our region’s Northern Powerhouse and with the right investment, the economy can accelerate further and allow more people to share in prosperity and opportunity. To see Peterborough at the cutting edge of manufacturing technology and promoting a new generation of highly skilled people will help the city and the wider region achieve more of its untapped potential.”

Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, leader of Peterborough City Council said “I am delighted that the ambition to build a university for Peterborough has taken another important step forward. Establishing a university in the city will bring immeasurable benefits for our residents, for people across the wider region, for our businesses and for Peterborough as a whole – both now and for generations to come.

This fantastic facility will help provide our city’s workforce with the rapidly evolving skills and knowledge requirements of the 21st Century workplace. I look forward to seeing our state-of-the-art university continue to take shape.”

Principal of ARU Peterborough Prof. Ross Renton said “This is another significant milestone in the development of a university for Peterborough, ARU Peterborough, which is already working in partnership with industry.  Our curriculum is being developed in conjunction with local and national employers, to meet their needs and support growth in the region. Having advanced manufacturing companies based on the ARU Peterborough campus promises to bring huge benefits to our students through placements, graduate employment and collaborative research.”

Paul Holt, managing director of Photocentric said “We are delighted to be in a position where we can now start planning our future research activity in this state-of-the-art building. The research undertaken in our home city will directly contribute to developing the manufacturing technologies of the future.

We are proud of the important role that the Centre will play in developing the engineers of tomorrow – so vital for the net-zero economy. A strong and innovative manufacturing sector is at the heart of a modern economy and at Photocentric we are helping global businesses today to reimagine their manufacturing processes. From new battery technologies to printing parts on-demand, the future of advanced manufacturing presents boundless opportunities.

This Centre will play an important role in the development of the disruptive technologies that will shape tomorrow, placing Peterborough and this region at the cutting edge of manufacturing innovation.”

Outline planning permission was also approved for an additional 180 spaces on Regional Pool Car Park, and a new access off Bishop’s Road and a new access to Regional Pool Car Park.

Phase two is expected to open in Summer 2023.

Image source- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

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