Update April 2023:

The first phase of the Activity Centre project is now complete with our new car park in use for Easter 2023.  This new car park better serves the needs of all visitors with improved accessible parking, vehicle charging, safer traffic flow and walkways and biodiversity improvements. This means that the 40-year-old car park can now be retired ready for phase two.

We are now entering a stage of detailed design and reviewing financing options for phase two, which will be the creation of the main activity centre building.  We envisage this period lasting over the summer with a view to re-engaging contractors in the Autumn and aiming to commencing with work on site again in early 2024. 

In the meantime we are exploring some exciting and fun uses of the old car park space over the next few months and will make some announcements about these soon.

We have retained a significant amount of soil from the car park excavations which is quite evident on Poppy Meadow.  The reason for this is that we are working on plans for a valuable biodiversity improvement opportunity this has presented which we are looking forward to confirming soon!

Update December 2022:

Contractors SDC have now started construction work on the new car park. 

Update June 2022:

Work is about to start on the construction of the new car park at Lakeside, which will improve facilities for all and help service the growing demand for parking. The existing Lakeside car park will stay open throughout these works. We are in the process of appointing a construction partner and we expect to complete the new car park towards the end of the year. The new car park will clear the way for the building of the exciting Lakeside Activity Centre and we hope to be able to provide more information on funding and timescales for this later this year.

Update March 2021

We are delighted that our plans to create a new Lakeside Activity Centre were approved by Peterborough City Council’s Planning Committee on 23 March 2021. This was the culmination of four years of consultation, planning, research and development work for our team here at Nene Park Trust that started when we launched our 2050 vision and masterplan in 2017.

Download our Lakeside Activity Centre Update.pdf to discover more about how the plans for the Centre have been developed and why it would be a great addition to Nene Park.

Lakeside Activity Centre will offer the people of Peterborough, in particular families and young people, exciting new leisure, and sporting opportunities. This proposed new state-of-the-art indoor facility is an exciting new addition for visitors to Nene Park, and a significant new asset for the city of Peterborough. It will create an Olympic standard climbing facility; one of the country’s largest Clip ‘n Climb arenas suitable for all the family; a natural themed toddler play area; an additional café and spaces for community groups to hire. We also anticipate the creation of 31 new jobs.

The Centre is a key element of our charity’s 2050 vision and 10-year masterplan, which involved extensive consultation with the public about the future of Nene Park. In particular, these consultations identified a need for year-round indoor provision to make the Park a more attractive prospect for families during the winter months.

The proposed Lakeside Activity Centre draws together many of these threads into a contemporary new nature-friendly offer at a time, post-COVID, when health and wellbeing, leisure, sport, and play are so important, especially to families and young people. Lakeside Activity Centre will provide a much-needed venue for practice and competition in Peterborough and further afield, especially since Peterborough’s 67-year-old, climbing club has recently lost its indoor climbing facility.


Wildlife and environment 

We maintain our passionate commitment for wildlife, and independent reports have been commissioned to help us assess the impact upon wildlife and green space. Our proposal includes plans which will help to improve biodiversity and create better habitats for wildlife in the park.

The main Lakeside Activity Centre building will be built on the existing hard-standing Lakeside car park, meaning it is already well-served by existing infrastructure. Specifically, only a small area of amenity grass next to the current overflow car park will be impacted, to create a carefully designed and permeable parking area which includes new planting, landscaping, hedging and trees. Existing oak trees will be preserved.

We have consulted on the lighting scheme for the building to ensure that there is no negative impact on wildlife and have included an expanded wildlife-friendly lighting schemes both for the new Centre and the existing Nene Outdoors Centre.

Location and design 

Lakeside Activity Centre will be built on a stilt system similar to the one used to build the neighbouring Nene Outdoors watersports and activity centre, thus avoiding any flooding risks. The Centre design ensures that any flood water can pass freely around the building and foundations, with no impact or damage downstream.

In addition to this, the new building will occupy a smaller footprint than the current car park which means that we will be reducing the impermeable hard surfaced area by an estimated 25%.

Supporting the city’s aspirations 

Beyond Nene Park Trust, we see our developing project as complementing ambitious plans for a vibrant, prosperous, healthy, and more youthful city.  The attractive facilities and activities at the Lakeside Centre will support Peterborough’s new Active Lifestyles and Sports Strategies, as well as complementing the successful Town’s Fund bid, the expansion of our universities and the wider regeneration of the city.

Nene Park Trust’s masterplan 

As a Charitable Trust our aim is to support the health and wellbeing of the people of Peterborough through the provision of recreation and leisure activities. We do this against the backdrop of our beautiful Park, which we develop and maintain as a place to reconnect with nature, a haven for wildlife, a venue for focusing on culture and heritage and a rich source of educational opportunity.

We have developed the detailed vision for this new Centre in the context of the ongoing delivery of other elements of the Trust’s masterplan, which focuses on nature recovery and our overarching value of placing visitors first.

Our ‘Bringing Nature Closer’ programme has resulted in the creation of wildflower meadows and the restoration of our spectacular wetland meadows. As well as planting new trees throughout the Park we have also further supported wildlife through the creation of, for example, tern rafts, bug hotels and our extremely successful Sand Martin boxes. We have built a 750m boardwalk in Bluebell Woods, and we have expanded our volunteer programme, offering a quality volunteer experience to many more people in the Peterborough community. Going forward in line with our own climate emergency declaration, we intend to ‘double nature’, introduce sustainable farming on our Rural Estate, and re-wild many areas across the Park.

We are committed to delivering this major enhancement to the visitor experience at our unique country park, and to the wider community and heritage of Peterborough, and hope that you share our excitement about these plans.

Download our Lakeside Activity Centre Update.pdf to discover more about how the plans for the Centre have been developed and why it would be a great addition to Nene Park.

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