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Fast Growth Cities take Peteborough’s post-Covid economic recovery seriously

Posted: 10/03/2021

Centre for Cities and Fast Growth Cities unveil a blueprint for Peterborough’s recovery from the pandemic and Peterborough’s long-term prosperity.

Prior to the pandemic, Peterborough had one of the fastest growing local economies in the UK, was an important source of employment for people far beyond its council boundaries and its success contributed to the strength of the national economy.

In recent years, Peterborough has emerged as a city with increasing innovation dynamics and is now among the 15 cities with the highest number of business start-ups in the UK. The move towards more, knowledge intensive industries can also be observed when looking at the makeup of its industrial structure.

However, like much of the UK, the city has a crucial role together with the Fast Growth Cities group to help the UK economy recover from the downturn. Peterborough has not escaped the economic damage done by the pandemic and needs further support for people and businesses.

The Fast Growth Cities group contains some of the UK’s most successful cities and it is important these cities receive support to reach their potential and to ensure that they continue to function as regional employment hubs and innovation centres post Covid.

The Centre for Cities / Fast Growth Cities blueprint for recovery focuses on six key areas for Peterborough to focus on:

  • Labour market skills and education
  • Businesses and growth
  • High streets and city centres
  • Housing and planning
  • Transport
  • Economic impact of Covid-19

In the longer term, working with Government the support for Peterborough’s future economic growth should focus on providing adults with better education opportunities, continuing to attract high-skilled, high-paying businesses into the city, and building more homes to increase affordability in the city.

Peterborough is already addressing specific challenges in terms of low skills attainment with the new university under construction and the Towns Fund £23m investment will bring further impetus and confidence to the City’s economic recovery but continued investment and support is needed.

Centre for Cities Chief Executive Andrew Carter said: “Peterborough has enjoyed from several years of economic growth which has benefited people living in the city, and the whole UK through its growing contribution to the Treasury. However, it would be a mistake to think that it has escaped the economic damage done by Covid-19 and will need support to bounce back.

“In the short-term, practical measures to help Peterborough’s businesses reopen will be necessary, but in the long-term, more substantive changes to skills and training are needed to protect people’s jobs from economic crashes.”

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “As one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, we have a vision for Peterborough for the year 2050 and an ambitious growth plan to get us there.

“This incorporates a new university which will go live in 2022 and over £23million of development from the Government’s Towns Fund designated for key development sites in our city. We are doing everything we can to build back better following Covid-19, but we need continued support to do this.”

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