40 Years of Queensgate
Forty Years of Queensgate
In the late summer of 1976, planning permission was granted for a new purpose-built shopping centre in the heart of Peterborough.
In November of the same year, the John Lewis Partnership announced they had agreed to be the anchor store for the development, marking the company’s return to the city after an absence of over twenty five years.
Andy Cole, a financial surveyor who saw the project from start to finish shares some of his experiences:
“Once we had agreed a figure, a cheque would appear sometime later and it was my job to deliver it to the National Westminster Bank and handover £14 to have it telegraphically transferred to Carlisle – this was ‘cash flow’ 1980 style.
One month I stood on Cathedral Square with a cheque for three million pounds in my pocket.” – Andy Cole On the 9th March 1982 the Queensgate Centre opened, followed by an official opening ceremony by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on the 18th or November of the same year. Whether it was Walkmans, crimped hair and yuppies in the 80’s, hip-hop grunge and the worldwide web in the 90’s, social networks and Harry Potter in the noughties or Tik-Tok and the Kardashians in the last decade, Queensgate has remained a focal point at the heart of the city.
This exhibition presents a visual journey through the last four decades, charting the changing faces of the Queensgate Centre over its forty year history. Today the centre continues to evolve and respond to the needs of the Peterborough community.
In 2022, Empire Cinemas will be the new anchor tenant in a new £60 million extension, with a new food court and several new stores on the way.
With special thanks to Chris Porsz, Andy Cole, peterboroughimages.co.uk and everyone else involved in capturing Queensgate over the years. See more of Chris’ work at www.chrisporsz.com