ESP’s longest serving columnist, Pep Cipriano, is back with the second installment of his look at life in the Boro. This time he’s looking forward to more pizza, goes ‘urban’ for a new street art exhibition and tries to skateboard!


Our city centre is changing and it’s for the better.

Probably the single most important reason for this is because we’re getting a Franco Manca pizza restaurant opening in Cathedral Square.

I don’t know how we do it but we’ve had an excellent recent history of attracting chain eateries that normally open up in much larger, vibrant cities.

Maybe it’s because we’ve always been seen as a growing city with potential and that potential is really starting to come to fruition.

Our university is less than a year away from opening and it’s provided the catalyst for lots of investment and opportunity.

The soon to be completed expansion of Queensgate, the opening of The Mini Vine community space, Fletton Quays taking shape, a cultural strategy, redevelopment of the station quarter on target and even boat hire on the river are just some developments that we’ve been crying out for.

And to help tie it all together is the vision, which I hope will soon become reality, to establish a Peterborough Business Improvement District (BID), which will provide businesses with a genuine voice and leadership role in shaping a more attractive, appealing and sustainable city centre.

I was involved in the very early stages of creating a BID for our city centre when it was first tabled a couple of years ago. I was excited then and I’m still stoked at the opportunity of us having one in place.

A ballot to determine the future of the BID is currently with businesses that make up its geographical area (mainly city centre) and it runs until October 21. Businesses have until this date to submit their votes to give Peterborough the best chance of becoming a BID city.

If adopted, the BID will bring in £1.8million of funding to be used to deliver outcomes our businesses want and need. The focus of this spend in the next five years from next April will be on improving and safety and communication and hosting more vibrant events that are sustainable. It’ll all be underpinned by a marketing strategy that comes with a reasonable budget.

Many of my friends and colleagues who run businesses in and around the city centre are all for it and, dare I say it, the BID should be a done deal. The timing is perfect and Peterborough deserves the credibility it’s always strived for, which I know the BID will help it achieve.

Next step, Peterborough City of Culture? You’d probably get 40/1 at the bookies but trust me it’s a bet worth placing…


When’s the last time you visited our city museum? On a school trip maybe?

That’s all about to change from December when a major exhibition of street art will be on display all the way through until May.

City Culture Peterborough is hosting the exhibition titled ‘Urban’, which will include original works by Banksy, My Dog Sighs, Blek le Rat, Pure Evil, Kaws, Damian Hirst and other prominent artists.

Other events and activities linked to the exhibition over the coming months are planned including an art trail and workshops involving local street artists.

Our local street artists are excellent. In recent years they’ve helped to turn the tide against a parochial view of street art and their work has often been the inspiration behind cultural change, breaking down barriers and fostering unity.

It’s refreshing to see the museum acknowledge modern trends in this way and recognising the creative talent in our city, especially by bringing young people from different backgrounds into the venue to see the exhibition.

‘Urban’ opens on Saturday December 11 and I hope to bring you a sneak preview of some of the items that have rarely been exhibited in the UK. To get tickets for this exciting display visit


This summer I experienced many things for the first time.

Let me see…

…I ate two fish finger sandwiches on the same day at two different Peterborough cafés (Lightbox and Willow).

…I was ghosted twice in the space of a