Fenland leader backs University of Peterborough plan

Fenland District Council leader John Clark
Fenland District Council leader John Clark

Political leaders in Fenland have backed plans for a multi-million pound funding package to form an independent university in Peterborough.

Students can currently attend the University Centre Peterborough (UCP), or its equivalent facility in King’s Lynn, to read for degrees awarded by the Anglia Ruskin University.

But UCP hopes to be able to award its own degree qualifications for the first time in 2019.

And a £6.5 million funding package, which is due to be debated by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority today, is intended to help the institution move towards independence.

Fenland District Council leader John Clark is among those backing the proposal.

He said: “Peterborough is the largest conurbation in the UK without it’s own university and sits within a geographical higher education cold spot.

The combined authority is clear that this needs to change and that by establishing an independent university in Peterborough it will provide an opportunity for our residents to study nearby whilst also attracting talented students from across the UK.

“The university will provide world class education and highly skilled graduates to the local area which will boost all elements of the economy.”

Officials say up to 12,500 students could be studying for degrees in the city by 2035. A preferred site for the campus is expected to be announced this autumn.