Welcome to our ARU Peterborough campus

The new ARU Peterborough campus is under construction on the Embankment site, close to the city centre and transport links.

ARUP concept art

The campus will create a new high-quality space for the city and establish a strong identity for the new university in Peterborough, transforming an under-utilised concrete car park into a green, well landscaped campus which will be fully accessible to the public.

Priority has been given to pedestrian, cycle and public transport use. The university building will be approached by an extension of the existing foot and cycle paths from the city, arriving at a new forecourt that will access the main entrance.

Vehicles will access operational parking, a drop-off and accessible parking spaces by an improved existing entrance to the Wirrina car park to the east of the building. Inside there will be spaces for teaching, learning and some offices.

The building has been located to be visible from the city and to passers-by from the road and on foot. It will be three storeys high, with plenty of glass to provide good daylight and natural ventilation as well as encompassing the views of Peterborough Cathedral, from the inside and outside of the building. On the ground floor on the south side there will be a colonnade providing shelter when required as well as terrace seating. The front entrance is a main feature of the building located alongside the state-of-the-art lecture theatre. An open terrace on the second floor provides an external space with views towards the cathedral.

A colonnade to the south provides a sheltered, welcoming access. The roof has a series of distinctive pyramidal lanterns which not only give a strong, identifiable skyline in the city but, more importantly, enable it to be naturally ventilated and bring more daylight into the heart of the building.

The university building has a very open aspect to the south and west to a well-landscaped campus garden, with solar shading to help reduce energy requirements and provide a comfortable internal environment. We have a green roof to increase biodiversity and control rain-water run off rates along with photo voltaic panels to generate electricity from sunshine. Good views are provided towards the cathedral and Bishop’s Road.

Sustainable design and net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

  • Incorporate energy efficiency measures and best practice design to reduce the inherent energy demand and associated CO2 emissions of the development.
  • Incorporate Low and Zero Carbon (LZC) technology solutions to decarbonise the energy supply and provide further CO2 reduction with a roadmap to zero carbon, such as air source heat pump systems to transfer heat from outside to inside the building.
  • Incorporate recycled materials and materials with low embodied energy impact, locally sourced A and A+ rated construction materials (as defined by the Green Guide to Specification), wherever possible.
  • Incorporate water efficiency measures and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), such as green roofs and swales for the disposal of surface water or low water capacity toilets and push button type taps.
  • Incorporate measures to encourage sustainable transport, by minimising car park and incorporating additional secured cycle parking.
  • Incorporate measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as provision of solar shading and allowance for cross ventilation throughout the building to stop overheating and provision of attenuation and protection against overland flooding.

Timelines and milestones

Key milestones for ARU Peterborough Date
ARU announced as academic partner June 2020
Planning application for building proposals to be submitted July 2020
Full business case approved July 2020
Planning permission to be granted November 2020
Main contractor to be selected and awarded January 2021
Construction begins November/December 2020
University opens doors to first students September 2022

What next for the ARU Peterborough development?

Over the longer term, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will continue the development of the university in Peterborough. This will happen in three phases over the next ten years.

  • Phase 1 (September 2022–August 2025): this phase of the project sees the first group of students taught on campus at the Embankment site, and off-campus through blended learning, distance learning, face to face on company premises and through local outreach centres.
  • Phase 2 (June 2021–June 2023): this phase will be a Research and Innovation Centre in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Research (a new building) used for educational Research and Development.
  • Phase 3 (September 2025–August 2028): this phase will consist of two buildings for further expansion of learning and teaching with a growth in postgraduate activity as well as growth and expansion to the curriculum offer in Phase 3.