Just a week ago, I took part in a momentous announcement which was live streamed across four social media networks.
Of course, I’m speaking about the news that Peterborough United will buy back the Abax Stadium from the Council.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties is a significant moment for the club and the city as a whole.
The MOU anticipates the sale to be finalised over the next six months and both the club and the council are committed to working together on this.
From a council perspective, I’m proud we were able to assist the club back in 2010 by buying the land surrounding the stadium to ensure its ownership stayed in the club which, in turn, secured the considerable contribution the club makes to the economy of the city.
The purchase unlocked the development of the area to create the Allia Future Business Centre where over 77 business have thrived. In addition the council has been able to secure one of the few zero carbon residential developments in the country on the Vista site as well as providing much needed affordable homes.
Now the club can move forward with developing the stadium as they look to gain promotion to the Championship.
I’m a Posh supporter myself and my wife Barbara and I went on our first date together at the ground just over 54 years ago, so the club means a lot to me and my family.
I’m sure this deal will help the club to make the progress that they and every single supporter so dearly desires as well as bringing new innovation to the area to support businesses, through the proposed Technology Accelerator – so all I can say is Up the Posh!!
Official opening of new council offices
Last week saw another significant event take place, with the official opening of the council’s Fletton Quays offices, which has been home to our staff since September.
I was joined by Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire as well as several other dignitaries and Gillian Beasley, the council’s Chief Executive.
The council’s move to the Fletton Quays development is a cost-neutral one which has enabled us to consolidate our office stock by leasing out parts of the Town Hall and selling assets like Bayard Place.
Fletton Quays is just the first step in a vision to deliver a modern skyline for Peterborough boosting growth and regeneration.
The landmark development is on track to further boost the city’s economy by creating hundreds of new jobs as well as providing a really exciting destination with new attractions.
Rollout of Gigafast Broadband
As I’ve mentioned in this column before, the rollout of Gigafast Broadband across Peterborough by City Fibre is continuing at pace and is set to unlock huge economic growth in our city over the next 15 years.
This week you may have noticed staff from Vodafone in Cathedral Square, in Cathedral grounds and out and about on electric bikes promoting the rollout.
I’d never been on an electric bike before, so naturally I had to hop on and have a go. As you can see from the photo, I think I’m a natural!
If you want to find out more about how Gigafast Broadband will benefit your home or business then why not pay them a visit?
Diwali festival this Saturday
Finally, this year has seen many spectacular events take place across the city, helping to bring communities together.
Another one is happening this weekend, with the city’s annual Diwali celebrations taking place in Cathedral Square on Saturday from 11am.
This year’s event will feature Indian classical dances, Bollywood dances and stalls selling Indian food, sweets, clothes and handicrafts.
The event is always a fantastic occasion which brings the city together and demonstrates the richness of diversity in our communities
The next time that the city centre will be colourfully lit up will be for our Christmas Lights switch on next month. We’ll be announcing full details of this event very soon.