Decision details

University of Peterborough Project: Land Transfer and Delivery Arrangements* - SEPT20/CAB/29

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of this report is to inform Cabinet of proposed changes to the planned implementation of the University of Peterborough project, including the arrangements for the proposed transfer of Council owned land into a special purpose joint venture (JVCo) to develop the new campus and the associated issues of the Council’s shareholding arrangements in the JVCo and issues including Board Membership, voting rights and control. 


Cabinet reviewed the report and RESOLVED to:


1.      Note the approval by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, at its Board meeting of 20 July 2020, of the final business case for the University of Peterborough project. 


2.      Note the selection by CPCA of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) as the academic delivery partner for the new University and the intention of ARU to invest directly in the development of the University.        


3.      Approve the formation of a special purpose joint venture vehicle with CPCA and ARU in which the Council will retain shares of equivalent value to the land transferred into this company. 


4.       Authorise the transfer of around 4 acres of Council-owned land (edged in red in the site map at appendix 1) to a special purpose joint venture vehicle to be formed among the Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Anglia Ruskin University for the purpose of delivering phase one of the University. 


5.      Delegate authority to the Executive Director Place and Economy and Director of Law and Governance to finalise the necessary legal and related documents needed to execute the recommendations and approach outlined in this report. 


6.      Delegate authority to the Executive Director Place and Economy and Director of Law and Governance to agree the transfer of further tranches of land to the joint venture company as may be needed to facilitate the delivery of further phases of the University subject to such land being identified for Higher Education related use within the local plan and suitable for development taking due account of the emerging University masterplan.    


7.      Authorise the Council to enter into a Subscription and Project Management Agreement to enable delivery of the University in Peterborough. 


8.      Approve the amendment of the ‘Appointments to External Organisations’ list to include the joint venture company within the ‘key partnerships’ category, to enable the Leader to appoint a Member to take up the position of non-Executive Director on the Board of the company. 


9.      Recommend to Full Council: 


a.      amends the Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan to take account of the proposed transfer of this land to the special purpose joint venture vehicle. 


Reasons for the decision:

The proposed recommendations will enable the Council to work with CPCA and ARU through a dedicated joint venture delivery vehicle that will enable the development of the University project to progress in a timely manner while respecting the needs and interests of the three principal partners.  A focused joint venture delivery vehicle will ensure decisions can be made in a speedy and efficient way ensuring that the pace of the delivery programme can be maintained.  

Alternative options considered:

The option to sell the land to CPCA was considered.  However, this was discounted on the basis that it would reduce the funding available for construction of the first phase of the Campus and leave the Council with less control and influence over future development.  The option to enter a JV solely with CPCA was proposed in the March report but has been superseded following the appointment of ARU as academic partner and their commitment to invest their own resources in the Campus.  By taking shares in the JVCo the Council will have an ongoing interest in the development of the Campus; the ability to receive income from dividend payments on its shares; and the potential opportunity to benefit from any private investment made on the Campus e.g. in student residences, or commercial offices for R&D and spin out businesses.  

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 21/09/2020

Date of decision: 21/09/2020

Decided at meeting: 21/09/2020 - Cabinet

Effective from: 25/09/2020

Accompanying Documents: