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WATCH: ‘Transformative and cutting edge’ expansion of ARU Peterborough

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said he was delighted to be ‘celebrating this ongoing success’

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The topping out of the third phase of Anglia Ruskin University, Peterborough, took place today – with all systems go for an autumn opening. Principal Ross Renton said the university growth demonstrated “fantastic ambition for the city” and described the latest phase as “transformative and cutting edge”.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

The ceremony involved project partners Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University.

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The third phase is a second teaching building incorporating the ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said he was delighted to be “celebrating this ongoing success, it really feels positive”.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

He said the level of co-operation that had brought the ARU campus together in the city has been “in some cases life changing for the residents of Peterborough”.

Mayor Johnson said: “What was just an aspiration before the formation of the Combined Authority is now an award-winning and growing university that the city and region can be proud of.

“The pace of development so far is a result of the strong partnership we have with the city council and Anglia Ruskin University, and this construction milestone of another exciting campus building is more evidence of the ability of this partnership to deliver for the city and its people.”

Professor Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, said: The role of ARU Peterborough is to inspire future generations to meet the challenges of a changing world and equip them with the tools to thrive.

“This third building at ARU Peterborough will support the expansion of science, technology and engineering subjects, providing exciting new opportunities for people from across the region.

Cllr Farooq, Mayor Dr Johnson and Prof Renton sign one of the roof panels at the topping out ceremony.

Cllr Farooq, Mayor Dr Johnson and Prof Renton sign one of the roof panels at the topping out ceremony.

“These fantastic facilities will also deliver additional opportunities to work with employers and attract inward investment.

“This new building marks the next stage in the exciting development of Peterborough’s University Quarter, and we will continue to look for opportunities to further develop ARU Peterborough to meet the ambitions of the city and the wider region.”

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.Funding has been provided by the Combined Authority, ARU, and Peterborough City Council, as well as £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September.  Mayor Dr Johnson with Cllr Mohammed Farooq, city council leader PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Councillor Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Housing, Growth and Regeneration at Peterborough City Council, said: “The Living Lab building is another significant milestone for education and skills in Peterborough and will be a unique facility for the community to use and enjoy.

“It will also provide opportunities for students to gain qualifications in emerging new science technologies and sectors that cutting edge companies are looking to grow.

“This in turn promotes growth in the economy and creates more high paying jobs, making our city a more attractive place to live and work in.”

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. Mayor Dr Nik Johnson enjoying a moment with Peterborough MP Paul Bristow PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow attended the topping up and remarked afterwards that “phase 3 is well underway and includes extra facilities and a Living Lab, which will be used to stimulate and inspire more people into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) sectors”.

He added: “Most of the young people attending this university are from PE postcodes. Local young people. We are building the high skill, high wage economy our city needs.”

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. Pictured above Ross Renton, ARU principal PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Jim Cunningham, interim assistant director delivery of the Combined Authority recently provided members with an update on the ARU at Peterborough.

It was pointed out that 84 per cent of students had chosen ARU because it was local, and they did not have to move.

A discussion centred on whether that level of demand would still continue or would the Peterborough campus have to adapt and provide accommodation/halls of residence in order to offer a fuller, more traditional university ‘experience’.

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However, it was emphasised that the university would continue to focus on attracting local residents as the community had been identified as a further education cold-spot.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

“Smart manufacturing and the creative industry had been targeting Peterborough and this could lead to development opportunities for the university,” the skills and employment committee of the Combined Authority was told.

“Any sector that had a relationship with the university could help to shape the curriculum.

“Extraordinary progress had been made in a comparatively short space of time, but it would take time to develop areas of expertise.”

The Living Lab, part of the second teaching building, will be a publicly accessible, interactive science facility and education space.

It aims to engage and inspire residents and visitors in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) topics.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. Mayor Dr Nik Johnson PHOTO: Terry Harris.

It will form part of a pedestrian-friendly campus and will have the flexibility to host a variety of events, exhibitions, education opportunities with local schools, immersive displays, talks, forums, and potentially evening classes.

The second teaching building will help realise the ambition of the campus as a new attraction for Peterborough, and a centrepiece within a new university quarter.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “ARU is committed to providing excellent education and life-changing opportunities for the communities we serve, and ARU Peterborough is certainly delivering in this regard.

“In the short time since opening, ARU Peterborough has attracted national attention and has been instrumental in helping ARU win both the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023 award, and the University of the Year prize at the UK Social Mobility Awards.

“This wonderful new building will provide additional teaching capacity during the next academic year, allowing ARU Peterborough to go from strength to strength in 2024.”

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Al Kingsley, chair of the Business Board of the Combined Authority, said: “ARU Peterborough is a long term investment in the future of the city, where benefits will be felt over decades, but the progress in a short space of time already represents a significant achievement.

“This new building remains on course for delivery as planned, growing further the university’s ability to provide people with the skills needed by local employers, fostering fantastic careers, driving business growth and supporting Peterborough’s regeneration.

On the roof celebrating are from left Cllr Farooq, Paul Bristow MP, Prof Renton, Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, Vice Chancellor Prof Watkins and Chair of the Combined Authority Business Board, Al Kingsley

On the roof celebrating are from left Cllr Farooq, Paul Bristow MP, Prof Renton, Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, Vice Chancellor Prof Watkins and chair of the Combined Authority Business Board, Al Kingsley

“The Business Board is a significant investor in ARU Peterborough because its goals align so clearly with our own Economic Growth Strategy to drive skills, innovation and enterprise across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out ceremony for an extension to the Peterborough campus that will incorporate a ‘Living Lab’ public science and technology space. It will open in September. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young said: “I am thrilled to see the Anglia Ruskin University campus in Peterborough continue to expand with support from the government’s levelling up funding.

“This new building, with its focus on STEM fields, will not only expand opportunities for students but also contribute to the city’s economic growth.

Anglian Ruskin University topping out. Tuesday 16 January 2024. Picture by Terry Harris.

“This is a huge milestone, and I commend Anglia Ruskin University and everyone who is working to make people proud of Peterborough.”

The new building will support mainly STEM fields and expand the number of places for students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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