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Peterborough UK
15:20 on Friday
1 March 2002

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Quality of life is Peterborough's big advantage


The high quality of life and the good value of housing in Peterborough are among the city's strongest 'selling points'.

The research, among business managers and property professionals across the UK, was undertaken ahead of the launch of an advertising campaign designed to attract businesses to Peterborough. A total of 400 company managers and 250 property agents, developers and consultants were interviewed and asked to compare Peterborough with nearby Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Northampton.

The property professionals ranked Peterborough as top for quality of life with a 'score' of 6.7 out of 10.0 - but the business managers rated it at 6.0, an equal fourth with Milton Keynes, behind both Cambridge and Northampton. The business managers placed Peterborough at the top of their list for affordable housing (score 7.2) while the property professionals rated property in Milton Keynes as slightly better value (score 6.8 compared with Peterborough's 6.7).

It was a similar result when people were asked about labour availability, with the business managers giving Peterborough top marks (score 6.0) while the property professionals thought Milton Keynes (score 6.7) was slightly better than Peterborough (6.5).

In all, respondents were asked to rate Peterborough against a total of 11 different criteria ranging from the speed of travel to work (the city scored 6.7 with property professionals but only 5.8 with business leaders) to its support for growing firms (6.6 from the property professionals and 6.3 from managers).

The research was carried out for English Partnerships, the government agency for regeneration and development which owns around 100 acres of commercial development land in Peterborough.

Gloria Milne, chief executive of Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA), which is working with English Partnerships on the advertising campaign that has just begun, said:

"The research is helping us to identify which benefits of living and working in Peterborough people outside the city already appreciate and those which we still need to publicise. Asking people to compare us with other places gives us a better understanding of how they actually perceive Peterborough than we would get by asking them just to tell us about this city itself.

"Many of the results were very encouraging. For example, it was good to see that Peterborough's quality of life and affordable housing are widely known - although we can always do more to get those messages across. However, it is clear that we need to work harder to publicise Peterborough's attractions as a base for growing companies.

"It is also clear - and very encouraging - that property professionals think more highly of Peterborough than other business leaders. It is the job of the property professionals to know the relative merits of different locations. The research results suggests that Peterborough's advantages are real - the better you know the city, the more highly you rate it."

The research will be repeated at intervals throughout this year in order to see how the advertising campaign and other promotional activity by English Partnerships and Greater Peterborough Investment Agency is changing opinions.

Mrs Milne added: "The promotional campaign will be widely seen, of course, but the key audiences are business leaders and the property professionals who advise them. These are the people who can make decisions to relocate businesses to Peterborough, bringing with them more jobs and prosperity. That is why the research is concentrating on monitoring their opinions."

The recently launched advertising uses the Positively Peterborough logo and emphasises Peterborough’s excellent attractions for businesses and families by employing bold colours and a powerful use of words to create a double PP alliteration. Typical examples include: Painless Progress, Pertinently Placed, Picture Postcard, Pioneering Powerhouse, Poundstretching Property, Pressure Prevention, Peachy Position and Pecuniary Potential.

The advertisements will appear in national newspapers, property magazines, trade journals and local newspapers until the summer of this year. A direct mail campaign using postcard reproductions of the advertisements is also planned.

The advertising initiative is the biggest campaign to promote the city since the winding-up of the Peterborough Development Corporation in 1988.

March 2001

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