Home  > Skills > ARU Peterborough > Planning permission approved for ARU Peterborough research and development centre

Planning permission approved for ARU Peterborough research and development centre


Planning permission approved for ARU Peterborough research and development centre

A new milestone in the development of ARU Peterborough has passed with the approval of planning permission for a research and development centre which will form a second phase of the scheme.

Peterborough City Council’s Planning and Environmental Committee approved plans for the £16.7m Manufacturing and Materials Research and Development Centre building, on Tuesday (June 15). The centre will form part of the ARU Peterborough campus on the Embankment and will feature 3,300 sqm of flexible research space over three floors, helping to complete the transformation of the under-utilised Wirrina car park into a green, well landscaped campus, fully accessible to the public.

The centre is a joint venture between the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough-based business Photocentric. It will link with local industry, fostering collaboration and innovation in a wide range of materials technologies, including 3D printing research, sustainable plastics, and new ways to make batteries.

Construction of the centre is currently planned to complete in December 2022.

Planning permission for the phase one teaching building has already been approved and works are underway. The University is set to open in September 2022 to its first 2,000 students and is a partnership between the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Mayor of Cambridgeshire 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.”

Councillor 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.”

Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, 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.”

As well as the approval of the building, outline planning permission was also approved for a car park with up to 180 additional spaces on the existing Regional Pool Car Park, and the creation of a new access off Bishop’s Road and new access to Regional Pool car park. The detailed design and layout of the car park will be subject of a future Reserved Matters application.