OPPORTUNITY Peterborough, the city’s economic development company, is celebrating ten years. Originally established as an urban regeneration company in April 2005, the organisation was later charged with focusing on delivering the city’s economic growth. On its tenth anniversary, the company reflects on its contribution to the physical regeneration and economic development of Peterborough during that time.
Opportunity Peterborough’s impact has been wide reaching. It developed the city’s growth strategy and its subsequent and pioneering ‘Peterborough Model’, which paved the way for the global ‘Smart City’ phenomenon. In turn, Opportunity Peterborough successfully led the bid to attract £3 million to become one of only four UK Future City demonstrators, driving innovation in the city and catapulting Peterborough to the forefront of the national ‘Smart City’ agenda.
The story of growth and regeneration through to economic development is also manifest in Opportunity Peterborough’s leadership of the award-winning regeneration of Cathedral Square: as well as creating a beautiful and inspiring new heart to the city, the Square has attracted major new investment to Peterborough and established an incredible new restaurant destination.
With its focus now firmly on the city’s economy, a snapshot of the company’s current portfolio shows a broad range of services: delivering the city’s Skills Service – a brokerage programme between business and education to ensure Peterborough’s current and future talent pool is work-ready; providing a range of tailored support services to help local companies grow and hosting the Bondholder business network; and marketing the city, nationally and internationally, to attract new commercial investment.
Steve Bowyer, left, acting chief executive at Opportunity Peterborough, said: “As an economic development company, all of Opportunity Peterborough’s projects and services are designed to support businesses and grow our economy, and we’ve delivered a huge amount of great work during our ten years of operation.
“As well as delivering a range of defined projects and services, there’s also a large part of our work that relies on building strategic relationships with stakeholders to benefit the wider city. It’s often the outcome of our work with, for example, Government departments, the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and education and infrastructure providers, that demonstrates just how far-reaching our impact is.
“And the impact of our work isn’t just felt locally; by boosting Peterborough’s national and international profile we’ve ensured the city is on the radar of senior decision-makers so Peterborough is now seriously competing for new inward investment from a range of industries.
“The company’s success during the last ten years is testament to the great efforts of a fantastic team over that period, and I’m really grateful for this continued hard work and inspiration. Equally, we couldn’t have done it without our partners in the city and beyond: the local businesses, public bodies and agencies, and individuals who have given us so much support. I’m really excited about what the future holds for Peterborough during the next ten years and beyond, and I’m proud that Opportunity Peterborough is here to help realise the city’s ambitions.”
To find out more about Opportunity Peterborough’s work and how it could support your business to grow, visit its brand new website: www.opportunitypeterborough.co.uk