Peterborough bags £50,000 to show how it could be a business innovation showcase

OPPORTUNITY Peterborough and Peterborough City Council have secured £50,000 of funding from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. Peterborough is one of only 30 UK cities to receive the grant in the first round of a competition to become a ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’. The winning city will receive funding of £24 million.

Peterborough will use the £50,000 to show how, if it was awarded the £24 million, it would improve and unify the delivery of a range of services (e.g. energy, communications, waste and water management) by encouraging business innovation to find solutions.

The city that is awarded the £24 million will become a showcase for business innovation that develops new products, enhances the local quality of life and reduces the city’s environmental footprint.

The initial study will examine Peterborough’s service delivery challenges and identify how solutions can be developed. The study will be jointly delivered by partners in the public and private sector and must be completed by the middle of November in order to be considered for the next stage of the competition.

Steve Bowyer, head of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough, said, “Peterborough has some great companies whose products are changing the world. The feasibility study will show how solutions can be delivered and tested locally, providing a huge boost to the local economy, and putting the city on the global map.”

Cllr Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said, “We’re really pleased to be involved in this pioneering project. Peterborough is uniquely placed to become a demonstrator city in this way and, as Home of Environment Capital, we have the local expertise to deliver long-term sustainable solutions.”

The £24 million award-winning city will be announced in January 2013.