Revealed – Why Peterborough is Attracting Buyers and Investors As a seller, your main goal is to get your home sold for the best possible price, in the quickest possible timeframe. That is far easier to achieve if you are operating in a busy, bustling location where demand from buyers and landlords looking to expand their portfolios is high. Peterborough, despite being a large cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, arguably doesn’t get enough love or attention, with many people not even realising it is a city at all. Here, we lay out what’s so great about Peterborough – and what’s coming shortly to make it even better – and why you should use location as a major part of your sales pitch to buyers and investors.
Why Peterborough? It has a magnificent cathedral, up there with the best of them in the UK, a strategically placed railway station on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh, and a League One football side currently managed by Sir Alex Ferguson’s son. It’s also the largest city in East Anglia and has a history dating back to the Bronze Age (with plenty of evidence for Roman and Anglo-Saxon occupation, too). But compared to Norwich, Cambridge and other cities nearby, it flies much more under the radar in terms of reputation. Famous for its role in the Industrial Revolution, as a renowned centre for brick manufacturing, its population grew rapidly in the 19th century and then again after World War Two when it was designated as a New Town.
Huge regeneration plans revealed There are currently major plans in the works for substantial regeneration in Peterborough, which has suffered from an unfair reputation in some quarters of the press for many years. Economic development company Opportunity Peterborough, in partnership with Peterborough City Council, is aiming to bringing a number of sites forward for investment and development, with the council set to enable £600 million of private capital investment as the city gears up, in the government’s words, to ‘Build Back Better’ after coronavirus. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, the city is pressing ahead with plans for eight investment sites, including the new university and changes to the station, as well as several key transport and infrastructure projects that are said to be critical to meeting the needs of the city’s rapidly growing population. The eight regeneration sites include the Station Quarter – a £300 million masterplan to ‘reinvigorate the gateway to the city’ – various residential-led mixed-use schemes, and Fletton Quays, a 6.4-hectare site representing a total investment of over £120 million. Four apartment blocks are being built, a new 126-bedroom Hilton Hotel has started on site, more than 1,000 jobs have already moved there, and work is expected to begin shortly on a Government Hub, with HM Passport Office as the anchor tenant. Additionally, there’s the Embankment project, which could be Peterborough FC’s ambitious new home. The club has already begun a feasibility study, as it explores the possibility of developing a new £50 million, 20,000 capacity-stadium, which would incorporate conference and events centre facilities that could complement the university curriculum and the city’s cultural offer. Speaking of the university, Peterborough is currently the only major city in the UK without one, something which will soon be put right, with £31 million already being invested to create a business and technology, engineering-focused university with a curriculum geared towards the growth sectors in the regional economy. Nearby Anglia Ruskin has recently been signed up as an academic partner. The university is set to open in 2022, with a campus that will accommodate up to 12,500 students by 2035 as later building phases come forward. The project has been 25 years in the planning and is now finally coming to fruition.
Town funding to improve infrastructure and create jobs The city last year also set out a Towns Fund bid to the government, aiming to get a slice of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund programme launched in 2019. In late October 2020, Peterborough was successfully offered a ‘Town Deal’ worth up to £22m through the government’s fund. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said Peterborough would be one of the first seven towns across the country to have a funding offer made as part of the scheme aimed at ‘levelling up’ local economies and creating jobs by investing in transport, infrastructure and skills. Plans for the city include making it more sustainable by encouraging low carbon living, as well as the development of a new Activity Centre and improvements to pedestrian areas and walkways to encourage outdoor activity. Furthermore, there are plans for a new Enterprise Hub to encourage inward investment and help local businesses and budding entrepreneurs to succeed by giving them access ‘to the tools and space they need’.
A thriving market for buyers and sellers Savills recently sold four blocks of flats (totalling 400 units) to Hong Kong investors based on the upcoming launch of the university, while Peterborough is also helped by its ease of access to the capital. The city is just 40 minutes down the road from London by train or car, while it’s surrounded by countryside and not far from the coast for those sunnier days. First-time buyers and those favouring new-builds are also catered for, with Vistry Homes – made up of Linden Homes, Bovis Homes and Vistry Partnerships - having recently announced the first phase of development at Great Haddon on the outskirts of Peterborough. It’s a major settlement which was granted planning permission in 2015 after a lengthy application process, and is set to lead to the creation of a 1,499-home development. The plan is for construction to start later this year. The proposed development is part of a wider scheme owned by O&H Properties and Barratt Homes to deliver 5,350 dwellings at Great Haddon, along with four schools, health, leisure, retail and commercial space and sports and recreation facilities. If you want to find out more about selling a home in Peterborough and other parts of Cambridgeshire over the next few months, please get in touch with us here. You can also find out how much your home could be worth by using our instant online valuation tool.