Peterborough’s reputation as a good business location with a high
quality lifestyle is strengthening, according to a study commissioned
by English Partnerships.
Research organisation B&MR is
conducting a rolling programme of research among 150 business people
from all sizes of companies in different industry sectors to evaluate
how Peterborough is perceived for its business and lifestyle benefits.
The research aims to plot changes in perception in response to
advertising and other promotional activity.
Initial benchmark research was
conducted among 100 business people last autumn, with two follow-up
surveys during the periods January to March and April to June. In each
case any changes in perceptions about Peterborough are being compared
with attitudes towards Cambridge to eliminate the influence of
extraneous factors, such as national events.
When asked to rate Peterborough on a
scale of from one to ten against a range of attributes, the average of
all respondents’ replies reveals the following changes over nine
Peterborough’s score for a
good/high quality of life has risen from 6 to 6.3.
Peterborough’s reputation for
fast travel to work times rose from 5.8 to 6.9.
Peterborough’s status as a good
location for growth-minded companies achieved a score of 6.8 - up
from 6.3 in the first wave of research.
When asked about availability of
labour, respondents have raised Peterborough’s score from 6.0 to
Peterborough’s score as a
hi-tech city has risen from the benchmark level of 4.6 to 5.1.
There has also been a significant rise
in the percentage of respondents who rate Peterborough’s benefits
with a score of seven or higher.
Gloria Milne, chief executive of
Greater Peterborough Investment Agency, said: “These results are
very encouraging but we need to persevere with our marketing
activities to reinforce the favourable messages about Peterborough.
While Cambridge and Peterborough are quite different cities with a
different business base, they both co-operate in building the region’
s economic strength.
“These survey results emphasise that
Peterborough and Cambridge offer complementary opportunities and that
companies seeking to expand in Cambridgeshire can consider
Peterborough as a credible alternative.
“In some areas - such as affordable
housing and low employment costs - Peterborough’s score has slipped
back slightly, even though it is still rated much higher than
Cambridge. Further work needs to be done to persuade more companies to
consider Peterborough as a primary relocation destination.”
The survey reveals some mixed
perceptions about Peterborough still persist. One respondent described
Peterborough as ‘very downmarket and not thriving’ and another
said it was ‘a good distribution area but more of a middle class
sort of place’. However, someone else said it was ‘an up and
coming place of the future with plenty of development and expansion’
and another said ‘it is good for labour and workforce’.
The results of a further wave of
research will be available in the autumn.