In an announcement to staff and stakeholders today, June 21, 2022, Asset Earning Power Group (AEPG) the owners of East of England Showground Services Ltd (operators of East of England Arena) revealed that it has embarked on a £50M regeneration plan to develop the venue into a purpose-built event & leisure resort, including new conference facilities, accommodation, a health & wellness centre as part of the leisure village, completely transforming the venue from an existing showground into a modern and versatile event and hospitality destination.
Although plans for the exact nature of the venue and housing development are in their early stages, AEPG has a clear vision of the venue’s future offering and plans to build a leisure event village with restaurants, competitive socializing and sports establishments, a conference complex, and dedicated accommodation.
The showground is home to some of the UK’s biggest outdoor live events. Showground services has built up a fantastic relationship with the event community and will continue to work with their clients to support them in their future endeavours. The showground development will provide a versatile year-round offering that features modern, multi-purpose conferencing facilities and accommodation alongside leisure and retail spaces, and the existing 6000m2 indoor arena complex.
Pamela Newbould, Head of Events, East of England Arena, described how the changes were being felt by East of England Arena’s customers: “Fundamentally this development won’t change how the majority of our regular indoor shows and events are run, and we will soon be able to offer facilities to bring new kinds of events to Peterborough. The site will be operating normally until July 1, 2023, and we’re contacting all of our customers to walk them through how the development will affect their events, if at all.
“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 tomorrow’s events, and attracts more staying visitors to the leisure resort, we are very excited for the future of shows, conferences and exhibitions in the city.”
The city is looking forward to considerable positive change over the next 5-10 years, with a new purpose-built university opening soon, the council’s City Plan and Cultural Strategy both in effect, and a bid for City of Culture scheduled for 2029.
The regeneration of the East of England Arena and the development of the showground land into housing and leisure, will bolster these initiatives – helping to make Peterborough a city to be proud of, and creating a cultural, leisure and event destination for the whole country.
As Lee Sharp, as MD of East of England Showground Services, explained, the development project is a big departure from the East of England Arena’s history as a showground and outdoor event space, “Our vision for the future of the venue is to offer an exciting and innovative facility and a flagship new event destination for the UK. 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 for Peterborough too.”