A planned new stadium for League One football club Peterborough United has taken a step forward after consultancy firm WSP was appointed to lead the feasibility study for the masterplan of the city’s Embankment area.

The transformation of the 90-acre city-centre area includes plans for the new 19,500-seat stadium, along with a new Anglia Ruskin University campus and retention of assets such as the Lido, Key Theatre and open green spaces.

It is hoped the project will elevate Peterborough’s riverfront area and make it a destination in its own right. Subject to funding, the project will include installation of a new pedestrian footbridge to Fletton Quays.

The masterplan will seek to demonstrate how the new stadium and university campus could function, subject to approval, within the riverside landscape.

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for strategic planning, commercial strategy and investment at Peterborough City Council, said: “While our Embankment is a wonderful place in our city centre, so much of it is currently underutilised, particularly in the dark autumn and winter months, when the grass is wet and muddy and few people venture far as it’s poorly lit.

“Likewise, while many other cities showcase their river frontage, ours has always been a bit hidden and tucked away. What we want to do is retain the huge expanse of green space around the river and encourage more people to visit and make use of it, not just in the summer months, but all year round.”

Funding for the feasibility study has come from Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough United Property. WSP is working alongside major event specialist Trivandi on the stadium plans and architects MCW on the university campus.

Ashley Dunseath, head of masterplanning at WSP, said: “The Embankment will become synonymous with prestigious enhancement, reflecting Peterborough’s ambitious plans for sustainable growth. WSP is delighted to lead this first stage to explore the parameters for a consultation on a comprehensive masterplan, and to be working with the city council towards the creation of an engaging place for the local community.”

Peterborough United recently detailed plans to use the club’s proposed new stadium, which is earmarked to open in January 2023, as a hub for testing new technology. A technology centre would be a key component of the stadium, which the club had initially hoped would open in time for the 2022-23 season before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Image: Peterborough United