Learn more about Peterborough
|City of Peterborough|
|Status:||Unitary, City (1541)|
|Region:||East of England|
|Traditional County:||Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire|
- Total (2005 est.)
465 / km²
|Leadership:||Leader & Cabinet|
|MPs:||Stewart Jackson, Malcolm Moss, Shailesh Vara|
Peterborough Town Hall is located 73.7 miles (118.6 km) north from the centre of London at Charing Cross. The city is situated on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea approximately 30 miles to the north-east. The local topography is notoriously flat and low-lying, and in some places lies below sea-level. The area known as the Fens falls to the east of Peterborough.
In 2006 the City of Peterborough had an estimated population of 168,000.
 Early history
Peterborough (Burgh, Burgus sancti Petri) is proved by its original name Medeshampstede to have been a Saxon village before 655 when Saxulf, a monk, founded the monastery on land granted to him for that purpose by Penda, king of Mercia. Its name was altered to Burgh between 992 and 1005 after Abbot Kenulf had made a wall round the minster, but the town does not appear to have been a borough until the 12th century. The burgesses received their first charter from "Abbot Robert" — probably Robert of Sutton (1262–1273).
Historically the Dean and Chapter, who succeeded the Abbot as lords of the manor, appointed a high bailiff, and the constables and other borough officers were elected at their court leet, but the borough was incorporated in 1874 under the government of a Mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Among the privileges claimed by the abbot as early as the 13th century was that of having a prison for felons taken in the soke and borough. In 1576 Bishop Scamble sold the lordship of the hundred of Nassaburgh, which is coextensive with the soke, to Queen Elizabeth I, who gave it to Lord Burghley, and from that time until the 19th century he and his descendants, marquesses of Exeter, had a separate gaol in Peterborough for prisoners arrested in the soke.
The trades of weaving and woolcombing were carried on in Peterborough in the 14th century. The abbot formerly held four fairs, of which two, one called St Peter's fair, granted in 1189 and later held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday in July, and the other called the Bridge fair, granted in 1439 and held on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in October, still survive and were purchased by the corporation from the ecclesiastical commissioners in 1876.
 Industrial revolution
One of the key points in the development of Peterborough was the decision to route the East Coast Main Line railway line from London to Edinburgh through the city in the 1850s. As a result, Peterborough developed into an important railway hub. The railway, coupled with vast local clay deposits, enabled large scale brick making and distribution to take place. The Greater Peterborough area was the UK's leading producer of bricks for much of the 20th century.
 Modern history
Designated a "New town" in 1968, Peterborough Development Corporation was formed in partnership with the City Council to house London's 'overspill' population in new townships sited around the existing built-up area. There were to be four townships; at Bretton, Orton, Paston/Werrington and Castor. The last of these was never built, but instead a fourth township is now taking shape south of the city at Hampton. A new network of high-speed roads, known as 'Parkways' were constructed around the city. During the period between 1971 and 1991, Peterborough's population grew by 45.4%
In 2005 a new Urban Regeneration Company named Opportunity Peterborough was set up by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to oversee Peterborough's future development. During 2006-2012 a £1 billion re-development of the City Centre and surrounding areas will take place.
On February 18 2005, Government figures released showed that Peterborough was experiencing a boom period, compared to the rest of the country. Economic growth on average for the UK was 5.5% whilst in Peterborough, it was 6.9%.
 Local government
From 1889 to 1965 the Soke of Peterborough formed an administrative county with boundaries similar, although not identical, to the current unitary authority. The Soke of Peterborough was merged with Huntingdonshire in 1965 to form Huntingdon and Peterborough.
On April 1 1974 Huntingdon and Peterborough was abolished and the current district was created by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Peterborough, Old Fletton urban district, Barnack Rural District, Peterborough Rural District, Thorney Rural District and part of Norman Cross Rural District. The newly created district became part of the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Peterborough at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional gross value added<ref name="fn_4">Components may not sum to totals due to rounding</ref>||Agriculture<ref name="fn_1">includes hunting and forestry</ref>||Industry<ref name="fn_2">includes energy and construction</ref>||Services<ref name="fn_3">includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured</ref>|
Peterborough is experiencing an economic boom, believed to be due to the regeneration plan laid out for the city over the coming decade or so. In 2005, Peterborough's economic growth was 6.9%, the most in the entire UK. The average for the UK was 5.5%.
Peterborough is a major stop on the East Coast Main Line, and is 45-50 minutes journey time by rail from Central London with high-speed services from Kings Cross station operated by the Great North Eastern Railway company or slower services operated by First Capital Connect.
The River Nene passes through the city centre, and a rather pretty green bridge carries the East Coast Main Line over the river. It was built in 1847 by Lewis Cubitt, who was more famous for his bridges in South America, Australia and India. Apart from some minor repairs in 1910 (the steel bands and cross braces around the fluted legs) the bridge remains just the way he built it. It is now a listed structure since it it the only cast iron bridge in the UK that carries a high-speed train route on it.
Bus services in the city are operated by several companies including the Stagecoach Group and Delaine Buses.
Peterborough has a business airfield with a paved runway at Conington and a recreational airfield hosting a well-known parachute school at Sibson. It is a major railway junction where a number of cross-country routes converge. Central Trains operate the Liverpool to Norwich, Birmingham to Stansted Airport routes. Trains to Lincoln, a commuter stopping service to London via Hitchin as well as the high speed London to Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Newcastle lines also run through the city.
Despite its large-scale growth, Peterborough has the fastest peak and off-peak travel times for a city its size in the UK, thanks to the construction of the 'Parkways'.
The Peterborough Millennium Green Wheel is an 80km network of cycleways, footpaths and bridleways which provide safe, continuous routes around the city with radiating spokes connecting to the city centre. The project has also created a sculpture trail, which provides functional, landscape artworks along the Green Wheel route and a ‘Living Landmarks’ project involving the local community in the creation of local landscape features such as mini woodlands, ponds and hedgerows.
The Local Transport Plan anticipates expenditure totalling around £180 million for the period up to 2010 on major road schemes to accommodate development.
Peterborough's secondary education system is currently undergoing immense change. Five of the city's fifteen secondary schools are to be closed and demolished over the coming few years and replaced with flagship academies which are set to open in September 2007. These include The Voyager Media Arts College and Thomas Deacon Academy. Some of the secondary schools that remain will be extended, enlarged and added to. Over £200 million is to be spent on this major redevelopment of the city's secondary education system. The changes are to be on-going from 2005-2010.
The city also has its own Further Education colleges, Peterborough Regional College & Peterborough Adult Learning service. The college attracts over 15,000 people each year, from the UK and abroad, to study there. It is currently ranked in the top 5% of colleges in the UK.
Peterborough is currently without its own university, since Loughborough University closed its "Loughborough University at Peterborough" campus in 2003. In 2006, however, Peterborough Regional College was in talks with Anglia Ruskin University to develop a new university centre for Peterborough.
The population of Peterborough has, over the last few years, grown much faster than the national average, mainly due to immigration. Today, Peterborough's 168,000 strong population is of mixed races and nationalities. Some of the main and long running minority communities established in the City are Asian, Black, Italian and Portuguese. A more recent issue is that an unknown figure of eastern Europeans have moved to Peterborough since May 2004. This may mean that the population figures for Peterborough are an underestimate. The East of England Regional Assembly estimate that 16,000 eastern Europeans live in Peterborough. <ref> The town the Poles took over Mail on Sunday, 24 August 2006. </ref> The districts around the City centre are where the majority of the recent immigrants and ethnic minorities live.
The city hasn't changed without problems however. In May 2004, then again in July that year, groups of Pakistani residents clashed with Afghan and Iraqi Asylum seekers. In the "running street battles", houses and cars were set alight and windows were smashed. Some people were hospitalized. The fighting occurred in the multicultural Millfield district of the city.<ref>BBC News - Patrols to quell violent clashes</ref> In July, a festival set up by the Indian community to celebrate the city's diversity turned violent. Pakistanis and Iraqis clashed over the weekend, leaving a man in hospital and large gangs fighting.<ref>BBC News - Ethnic groups clash at festival</ref> Since then, race relations have improved significantly.
The latest immigration to the City has been from Eastern Europe and East Africa.
The city also contains a population of various religious beliefs. The religion with the largest following is currently Christianity. The second largest is Islam, followed by Hinduism, Sikhism,Judaism and Buddhism. Whilst housing many churches and a cathedral, Peterborough also has two mosques (including the Faidhan-e-Madina Mosque), a Hindu temple (Bharat Hindu Samaj), the Singh Sabha Gurdwara (for Sikhs), a Kadampa Buddhist gathering centre and a synagogue.
With the City being as multicultural as it is, one of the most in Britain, there are a number of languages spoken. In total, it is believed there are 55 different languages spoken in the City. The biggest groups are English, Urdu, Polish, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Arabic and various African languages.
 Future of Peterborough
As Peterborough expands and attracts more UK and foreign citizens, it has introduced a new development plan. Its aim is to accommodate an extra 22,000 homes, 18,000 jobs and over 40,000 people living in Peterborough by 2020. The Hampton township will be completed, south Stanground will have a 1,500 home development and Paston will have a 1,200 home development plan. A new city-centre shopping centre complete with 'continental style' streets and transport interchange will all be built with a new hospital further out.
To help cope with the influx of people moving to the city, thought to be many thousands a year, the City Council has put forward plans to construct an average of 1,300 homes every year until 2021.
Throughout each year, Peterborough enjoys a range of events from "Refugee Week" to the annual "Peterborough Festival" and across to the beer festival, which usually takes place at the end of August and attracts national celebrities. The city has a vibrant nightlife, in and around the centre mainly.
The city also includes a Showcase Cinema, an ice rink and two bowling alleys. There is the Queensgate shopping centre in the city centre, and a number of streets around it lined with shops, bars and cafés. There are also shopping complexes in Hampton, Orton and Bretton.
Throughout the city there is a diverse range of restaurants. These include Chinese & Cantonese, Indian & Nepalese, Thai and Italian restaurants. In the closing months of 2006, Polish, Japanese and Mexican restaurants were all opened.
Peterborough United F.C. 'The Posh' is the local Football Club. The ground is situated at London Road and is located on the south bank of the River Nene. Although the club is currently experiencing a lean period under the ownership of Darragh MacAnthony , The Posh have a proud history of cup giant killings and set the record for the highest number of goals scored in a league season with 134 goals during their first season in the Football League in 1960/1961, when they won the Fourth Division title, with Terry Bly scoring 52 of them.
Peterborough Town Cricket Club (PTCC) and Peterborough Town Hockey Club (PTHC) compete at the shared ground of Bretton Gate. Whereas the city's oldest and most successful rugby team, Peterborough Rugby Union Football Club,play at 'Fortress Fengate', in eastern Peterborough.
 Famous Peterborians
Peterborough was the birthplace of many celebrities and historical figures. Musicians include Andy Bell, lead singer of the electronic pop band Erasure, who was born and spent his youth in Peterborough; Don Lusher, trombonist; Keith Palmer, better known as Maxim Reality, member of dance music band The Prodigy; and Nigel Sixsmith, founder member of The Art Of Sound, a musician and well known keytar player. Other names from the entertainment world include Paul Nicholas, actor and singer; Sarah Cawood, television presenter; and Adrian Durham, radio presenter for talkSPORT; also Barrie Forgie, leader of the BBC Big Band and scientist and broadcaster Brian J. Ford.
Two famous businessmen are Peter Boizot, founder of the Pizza Express restaurant chain, who has supported the cultural and sporting development of the city, including a spell as owner and chairman of Peterborough United; and Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce Limited.
Finally, two historical figures were born locally, the poet John Clare and Hereward the Wake, an outlaw who led resistance against William the Conqueror and now lends his name to several places and businesses in Peterborough.
There is a major radio transmitter at Morborne, approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Peterborough for National FM radio (BBC Radio 1-4 & Classic FM) & BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. This facility includes a 163 metre high guyed radio mast which collapsed on October 30 2004 after a fire and has since been re-built.
There is also another transmission site to the North East of the city at Gunthorpe. This transmits local AM/MW services, plus FM commercial radio. The site is only 3 metres above sea level and has an 83 metre high active insulated guyed mast situated on it.
Peterborough has five local radio stations and one regional station. Hereward FM, named after Hereward the Wake, is the original station in the city and still holds a large section of the market. Classic Gold 1332 broadcasts a 'gold' music service and is part of the Classic Gold Network. Lite FM is Peterborough's second local FM commercial radio station. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire also has studios in the city, on Priestgate, broadcasting local output in place of the countywide programming on 95.7 FM at peak listening times. Lastly, Kiss 105-108 is the regional station for the East Of England.
The Peterborough Evening Telegraph or "E.T." is the city's daily newspaper, which is published every Monday-Saturday with local news, plus Jobs, Property, Motors and entertainment supplements as well as a Saturday lifestyle magazine. It is based in city centre offices in Priestgate and is part of the East Midlands Newspapers group, owned by Johnston Press. Its website Peterborough Today is updated six days a week.
Peterborough also houses offices of one the UK's largest media conglomorates, EMAP. In addition, the city also houses numerous advertising agencies of varying sizes.
 Places of interest
 Central Park
Beautiful Victorian park containing formal gardens, children's play areas, an aviary, bowling green, tennis courts and the Butter Cross Tea Rooms which offer a range of food and drinks seven days a week.
 Burghley House
A 16th-century country house to the north of Peterborough near Stamford.
 Longthorpe Tower
A 14th century three storey tower situated in the village of Longthorpe.
 Flag Fen
A bronze age archaeological site.
 Nene Valley Railway
A seven and a half mile heritage railway.
One curious fact about Peterborough is that there is a church (St. John's) just outside the Cathedral in Cathedral Square. Why was a church built right next the cathedral? The reason for this is that at some point in history the monks of the abbey shut their doors to the general public which meant that they had to build their own church to worship in (the current St John's was consecrated in the early 15th century).
 Twin towns
Peterborough is twinned with the following towns:
- Image:Flag of Spain.svg Alcalá de Henares, Spain (Catherine of Aragon's birthplace, Catherine is buried in the Cathedral)
- Image:Flag of France.svg Bourges, France
- Image:Flag of Italy.svg Forlì, Italy
- Image:Flag of Germany.svg Viersen, Germany
- Image:Flag of Ukraine.svg Vinnytsya, Ukraine
 Local geography
 Areas of Peterborough
Townships in Bold.
Bretton - Dogsthorpe - Eastgate - Fengate - Fletton - Gunthorpe - Hampton - Longthorpe - Millfield - Netherton - New England - The Ortons - Paston - Ravensthorpe - Stanground - Walton - Werrington - West Town - Westwood - Woodston
 Villages in the district
 External links
- Peterborough City Council
- Pictures of Peterborough - 
- http://www.opportunitypeterborough.co.uk/ Peterborough £1 billion development
- The Cambridgeshire (City of Peterborough) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996 - which formed Peterborough unitary authority.
- Guide to Peterborough Local Studies Collection - gives some history of administrative changes.
- 2001 Census
- The Young People's Office (Young people involved in decision-making)
- Peterborough Museum, Libraries and Archives service.
- Peterborough Cathedral
- Peterborough Today
- Peterborough United Football Club
- Peterborough Adult Learning Service
|Peterborough, Cambridgeshire||Unitary Authority|
|Areas of Peterborough|| Traditional county of Northamptonshire
Bretton | Dogsthorpe | Eastgate | Fengate | Fletton | Gunthorpe | Hampton | Longthorpe | Millfield | Netherton | New England | The Ortons | Paston | Ravensthorpe | Stanground | Walton | Werrington | West Town | Westwood | Woodston
|Places of interest|
|Districts of the East of England||Image:Flag of England.svg|
Babergh | Basildon | Bedford | Braintree | Breckland | Brentwood | Broadland | Broxbourne | Cambridge | Castle Point | Chelmsford | Colchester | Dacorum | East Cambridgeshire | East Hertfordshire | Epping Forest | Fenland | Forest Heath | Great Yarmouth | Harlow | Hertsmere | Huntingdonshire | Ipswich | King's Lynn and West Norfolk | Luton | Maldon | Mid Bedfordshire | Mid Suffolk | North Hertfordshire | North Norfolk | Norwich | Peterborough | Rochford | St Albans | St Edmundsbury | South Bedfordshire | South Cambridgeshire | Southend-on-Sea | South Norfolk | Stevenage | Suffolk Coastal | Tendring | Three Rivers | Thurrock | Uttlesford | Watford | Waveney | Welwyn Hatfield
| ||Image:Flag of England.svg|
|Bath | Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton & Hove | Bristol | Cambridge | Canterbury | Carlisle | Chester | Chichester | Coventry | Derby | Durham | Ely | Exeter | Gloucester | Hereford | Kingston upon Hull | Lancaster | Leeds | Leicester | Lichfield | Lincoln | Liverpool | London (City of London and Westminster) | Manchester | Newcastle upon Tyne | Norwich | Nottingham | Oxford | Peterborough | Plymouth | Portsmouth | Preston | Ripon | Saint Albans | Salford | Salisbury | Sheffield | Southampton | Stoke-on-Trent | Sunderland | Truro | Wakefield | Wells | Winchester | Wolverhampton | Worcester | York|