‘Charting the Cold-spot’ will reinvigorate empty and underutilised shop and built environment assets within Peterborough City Centre Conservation area’s high street. In order to do this it will bring together two issues in Peterborough, empty shop units and lack of culture, night-time activity and lack of vibrancy found in Peterborough’s central commercial area. By using the synergies in these two issues a beneficial solution can be found that benefits the whole community.
Peterborough city centre’s present cultural offer has some highlights, but overall is acknowledged to be weak, according to the 2008 ‘Cultural Gap Analysis’ produced by BOP consultants as part of the City Centre Area Action Plan. This is illustrated by, among other factors, the fact that the city centre conservation area is on the English Heritage ‘At Risk List’, partly due to vacancy rates, that the majority of residents travel elsewhere to access cultural provision, that projects in Peterborough have managed to attract very little arts funding to date, with no local arts organisation attracts regular Arts Council funding. Additionally the city centre sits within Peterborough’s central ward, which is in the top 10% of deprived wards nationally.