International business leaders come to see our growing green city

Neil Darwin welcomes the international delegation to PeterboroughAround 40 international government officials and senior business leaders are coming to Peterborough today to hear how the city is attracting new investment, bringing in new jobs and leading the way on environmental issues.

The delegates, who are visiting London for a three-day International Governance and Sustainability Conference, will travel to Peterborough to meet city leaders to find out about the exciting projects that are helping to build Peterborough’s growing reputation as the UK’s Environment Capital.

The study tour will showcase the ‘Peterborough Model’, the 3D visualisation tool that enables the city to clearly plot its environmental performance. The model, developed by IBM, Royal Haskoning, Green Ventures, Peterborough City Council and Opportunity Peterborough, has already received interest from as far afield as Bordeaux, China and New York. The business leaders will also hear about Peterborough’s 380-strong environmental business sector, priorities for growth and our ambition to be one of the greenest cities in the world.

Councillor Marco Cereste, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “This is a major coup for Peterborough and will demonstrate to an international audience how Peterborough is leading the way on environmental issues and is putting the environment at the heart of its decision-making to ensure that the city grows sustainably and continues to thrive for many generations to come.”

The delegates will also hear how Peterborough is bucking the national trend and is continuing to thrive despite the difficult economic climate. During the past 12 months, over 3,000 jobs have been announced in Peterborough, as new businesses have located to the city, others have expanded and small businesses have started up.

In the past year, BGL has created 600 new jobs, the Stobbart Group has brought in 380 new jobs, the new Morrisons at Stanground is creating 250 new jobs, the newly-opened Dobbies Garden Centre provides jobs for 120 people and Nandos restaurant in our newly revamped Cathedral Square has created 40 new jobs.

The presidents, CEOs, managing directors, and directors of major corporations in India, France, Australia and America will arrive in Peterborough just before 11am where they will be taken to the city’s magnificent Norman Peterborough Cathedral.

Here they will be welcomed by the Very Reverend Charles Taylor, Dean of Peterborough, Councillor Marco Cereste, Leader of Peterborough City Council, Dr Colin Coulson-Thomas, Chairman of Bryok Systems and Cocoto and the Lt Gen Ahluwalia, President of the Indian Institute of Directors and President of the World Environment Foundation.

They will then hear from the city council’s Chief Executive Gillian Beasley, Neil Darwin from Opportunity Peterborough, Rachel Huxley the Chief Executive of Peterborough Environment City Trust and Chris Williams, the director of PREL. Derek Harris, the Chair of NHS Peterborough will also talk about the city’s Live Green, Live Healthy campaign. The delegates will then head off to The Exec at the East of England Showground where after meeting key business leaders they will have the chance to network with Peterborough businesses at Business Focus Peterborough which last year saw 700 business people visit over 70 exhibitions by local companies.

Finally as the party prepares to leave the city, delegates will be taken on an hour-long sightseeing tour around Peterborough stopping off at the city’s successful Green Backyard Project, Nene Park and the City’s Millennium Green Wheel, the 80km cycle network that circumnavigates the city.