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Peterborough City Council and Opportunity Peterborough have been successful in securing £50,000 of funding from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. The grant is the first round in a competition to become a Future Cities Demonstrator, carrying with it funding of £24 million, and Peterborough is one of only 30 UK cities to receive funding.
The feasibility study will show how Peterborough could, if it was awarded the £24 million, improve and unify the delivery of a range of services (for example, energy, waste and water management, and communications) by encouraging business innovation in achieving solutions. The city that is eventually awarded the £24 million will become a national showcase demonstrating the testing of business innovation to develop new products for both the home and export markets, as well as enhancing the local quality of life and reducing the city’s environmental footprint.
The study will examine Peterborough’s service delivery challenges and identify how solutions can be developed. The study will be jointly delivered by partners in the public and private sector and must be completed by the middle of November in order to be considered for the next stage of the competition.
Cllr Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be involved in this pioneering project. Peterborough is uniquely placed to become a demonstrator city in this way and, as Home of Environment Capital, we have the local expertise to deliver long-term sustainable solutions.”
Steve Bowyer, head of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough, said: “Peterborough has some great companies whose products are changing the world. The feasibility study will show how solutions can be delivered and tested locally, providing a huge boost to the local economy, and putting the city on the global map.”
The final results of the £24 million award are due to be announced in January 2013.