Peterborough University is on track to open by September 2022

Mayor James Palmer (centre) discussing the £6.5million to accelerate the establishment of a Universi

Mayor James Palmer (centre) discussing the £6.5million to accelerate the establishment of a University of Peterborough. - Credit: Archant

The next phase of funding has been released for the University of Peterborough which is hoped will open its doors to 2,000 students by 2022.

The university is set to address what is seen as skills shortages in the city.

This latest injection of cash demonstrates the importance of the university as a key feature of the devolution deal agreed with central government with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

The authority’s skills committee agreed to the funding release.

John Hill, director of business and skills, said: “There is a long-standing ambition between public sector partners, employers and the residents of Peterborough and the surrounding areas to have a university in the city.

“It is envisaged that the university will offer technical qualifications to meet the need of local businesses as well as collaborative delivery models working with industry shaping the degrees and high level apprenticeships on offer.”

Commitment from the Combined Authority had been called into question with concerns over funding streams for key projects.

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The Combined Authority sees the creation and development of the university as critical for the growth of the local economy and in addressing skills shortages as “Peterborough is a cold spot for higher education and skills”.

Capital funding for the project stands at £13.83m from the Combined Authority, which could rise to as much as £20m if required.

Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council, confirmed the timetable for commitment and spending of funds.

Members agreed to release £300,000 of capital funding to deliver planning preparation and procurement of the design and build.

They approved the release of an additional £235,000 for things like management team, best choice of academic partner and business case preparation.