This project focuses upon the standing built heritage, both designated and undesignated, of Peterborough.
Predominantly the vernacular architectural built environment of Peterborough is of solidly Edwardian and
Victorian stock however some buildings date back to the Medieval period. The main project work will be
undertaken in the City Centre Conservation Area and its setting but will be applicable to the entire
Peterborough Unitary Authority area. Peterborough contains within it over 1000 listed buildings, which when surveyed in 2009 contained 9 ‘at risk’ structures as designated by the Local Authority and English Heritage, 13 ‘at risk’ scheduled ancient monuments out of the 64 in the Unitary Authority and 1 ‘at risk’ Conservation Area out of 29. To avoid more heritage assets ending up ‘at risk’ and to reduce the many factors which put the City Centre Conservation Area into this category this project will establish which assets are most likely to be currently ‘in need’ and to raise awareness of what leads to areas and buildings being ‘in need’ and what maintenance asks can be done to prevent them becoming ‘at risk’.
The Conservation Area in question is the City Centre, including the Cathedral Precincts. It is not ‘at risk’
buildings that predominate within the City Centre, but a more subtle pervasive lack of basic repairs and
maintenance, along with vacancy, meaning that more buildings seem ‘in need’, as can be seen from the
attached photos in ‘Damaged Buildings in the City Centre’. The buildings predominantly need repair,
maintenance and to be brought back into use and for this to occur they need to be valued and understood.
The full extent of the vulnerabilities around the city centre are currently unknown. The central ward in
Peterborough is in the top 10% of deprived areas in England, but the rural areas are much more affluent.
This project will last for about nine months in total. Through understanding and awareness raising of the historic environment of Peterborough’s city centre, members of the local community will learn what puts the historic environment ‘in need’ of becoming officially ‘at risk’, the challenges faced by the historic environment and how these can be managed. This training will be provided in the form of daytime, evening, half and full day courses for both dedicated volunteers and for the general public, as a way of sharing information and to encourage participation in the project.
This project will train users of the space to understand aspects such as ‘significance’ ‘setting’ and levels of need. It will create the most complete building by building snapshot survey of the degree of ‘need’ present within the city centre conservation area. This survey will be carried out by volunteers from the general public, local groups members and volunteers, who will be trained up and supported by the Heritage Regeneration Officer and Built Environment team. It will create an on-line toolkit of resources, including a ‘traffic light’ style system for flagging levels of need, to enable people to engage on a local level with the management of the built heritage ofPeterborough, as a lasting legacy of the project. People will be engaged as on the ground heritage champions, aware of the built environment and the vulnerabilities found there.