Plans for further development of the Hampton township and for
construction of an innovation centre in Peterborough were revealed to
more than 100 business and civic leaders at a presentation organised
by Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA).
Meeting over breakfast in the rotunda
at Hampton's Serpentine Green shopping centre, the GPIA's business
partners, city councillors and public sector executives were reminded
that less than a decade ago the building did not exist and the whole
Hampton site was derelict.
Roger Tallowin of Hampton
(Peterborough) Limited and Paul Farrow of property agent Dickens Watts
& Dade gave a summary of current development progress - including
the fact that almost 700 homes have now been occupied, hundreds more
are being built and a range of business premises are currently under
construction or planned. By the time it is finished Hampton will have
a population of more than 13,000 people living in 5,200 homes and will
employ around 12,000 people in a wide range of occupations.
Some of that employment may be in
Peterborough's new innovation centre, said John Durance of the
innovation centre steering group, if it is built at Hampton. The
steering group is currently investigating several potential sites for
the centre and is in discussions with both public and private sector
Even if the centre itself is not
located at Hampton there will be benefits for the township, Mr Durance
"The innovation centre will
provide a seedbed for growing companies," Mr Durance said.
"It has been demonstrated that young businesses which start in
innovation centres grow faster than those which do not. And when they
grow out of the innovation centre, they will need to move into new
premises such as those currently being planned for Hampton."
The innovation centre is planned to
provide premises for between 60 and 70 small firms directly employing
more than 250 people in total. Additional jobs will be created in
service and support businesses.
Mr Durance said: "The creation of
an innovation centre will be very important in generating inward
investment. Hopefully it will attract back to Peterborough some of the
many talented young people who grow up here, leave to gain a
university education elsewhere, and then never come back. We want them
to return and set up their businesses here."
The centre will provide business units
ranging in size from 250 square feet to 1,700 square feet (23 to 160
square metres) together with shared meeting rooms, a restaurant,
reception and post and photocopying facilities. It will permit
fast-growing companies to move to larger premises without being
burdened with complicated long-term lease agreements.
Although businesses from any sector
will be eligible to take space at the centre, the intention is to
focus on companies developing environmentally sustainable
The steering group - jointly funded by
Peterborough City Council, HSBC and the former Greater Peterborough
Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise - has applied for grants
from local, regional, national and European bodies to fund the
construction. Public sector funding is essential to finance the early
years of the project, Mr Durance told the meeting, but the innovation
centre's business plan predicts that it will be self-sustaining within