A fantastic day-out, city break or short holiday, Peterborough is a cathedral city in beautiful Cambridgeshire, nestling near the Fens. It grew rapidly with the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, becoming an industrial centre, particularly noted for its brick manufacture, but following World War II, its growth was stilted. It was designated a New Town in the 1960s, and in common with much of the UK, industrial employment in Peterborough has fallen, with a significant proportion of new jobs in financial services and distribution.
Peterborough has experienced an economic boom in the environmental goods and services sector, as it has the largest cluster of environmental business in the UK. Future employment opportunities will see jobs being created in the retail, leisure and tourism industries, while the recent relocation of large employers like the Tesco and Debenhams distribution centres has provided further opportunities. With traditionally low levels of unemployment, Peterborough is a popular destination for workers looking to relocate from overseas, as well as within the UK.
So, what’s life like in Peterborough? Well, it enjoys a wide range of events including the annual East of England Show, Peterborough Festival and the CAMRA beer festival, which takes place on the river embankment in late August. The Key Theatre provides entertainment, enrichment and enlightenment, with a varied programme of home-grown productions, national touring shows and one-off concerts, while there’s also a 13-screen cinema, an ice rink and two indoor swimming pools. In addition, a diverse range of restaurants can be found throughout the city, from Chinese and Indian, to Thai and Italian… Take your pick! A little out of the city, you can take in the sight of Burghley House, one of England’s greatest Elizabeth houses, or go on a steam train ride at the Nene Valley Railway.
Speaking of train travel, Peterborough is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh, and a major junction on services to Lincoln, Norwich, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cambridge and Ipswich. The A1 motorway is within easy reach, and bus services run on a regular basis, connecting the city centre with the surrounding area.
Peterborough has one independent boarding school – The Peterborough School – which caters for girls and boys up to the age of 18. The city’s state schools have recently undergone immense change, with five of the 15 secondary schools closed in recent years. There are two further and higher education colleges – Peterborough Regional College and City College Peterborough – along with Greater Peterborough University Technical College. The city had been without a university to take its name, but in 2009, University Centre Peterborough opened its doors to its first 850 students.
As for house prices, most property sales last year involved semi-detached properties, which sold for an average of £192,502. The overall property price was £195,636, which was up 5 per cent on the previous year. A city that combines the best of both urban and rural life, it’s well-worth a look if you’re planning to relocate.