Peterborough: East of England Showground development
Some major spectator events will no longer be held at the East of England Showground.
Asset Earning Power Group (AEPG), which owns the venue’s operators, is planning a £50m leisure resort development at the large site to the west of Peterborough.
The venue’s head of events said it would “have to say farewell to some fantastic outdoor shows” after 2023.
But she added it was “very excited” for future events at the arena.
The 165 acre (66.7 hectare) showground, formally called the East of England Arena and Events Centre, has been the venue for shows such as Truckfest, MCN, Motorhomes, Plantworx, and Antiques.
The centre said the 2023 events for all of these would go ahead, but after 1 July next year the shows would either “dynamically change to fit the venue or move to new homes”.
It added it was “working with organisers” about what would happen.
The venue is also the home of the Peterborough Panthers speedway team, which said it was seeking urgent talks over the redevelopment plans.
AEPG, which owns East of England Showground Services Ltd, said it had embarked on a £50m regeneration plan to develop the site into a “purpose-built leisure resort” and mark a departure from the site’s history as an outdoor event space.
The plans includes new conference facilities, accommodation and a health and wellness centre.
The land had also been earmarked for housing development as part of the Peterborough City Council Local Plan. The number of properties has not been confirmed, but AEPG said it was working with the council to create “a housing development that meets the needs of the local area”.
Initial proposals were unveiled last year when AEPG began working with the East of England Agricultural Society to promote the land for development.
It now wants to submit an application to achieve planning permission before 1 July 2023.
Chief executive officer, Ashley Butterfield, said: “The showground will be transformed by this significant investment, creating up to 500 new jobs and many new leisure and entertainment opportunities for Peterborough.”
Head of events at the arena, Pamela Newbould, said the development “won’t change how the majority of our regular indoor shows and events are run”.
“We’re contacting all of our customers to walk them through how the development will affect their events, if at all,” she said.
“We will have to say farewell to some fantastic outdoor shows we’ve worked with over the years, and not without sadness, but as our venue evolves to meet the needs of modern events and experiences, we are very excited for the future of shows, conferences and exhibitions at the arena.”
The site will be operating normally until 1 July 2023, she added.
Lee Sharp, managing director of East of England Showground Services, said: “This is one of the largest projects of its kind in the country at this time, it’s a big moment for the venue and a big moment for Peterborough.”
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