In this paper, we present a multiwavelength investigation of the star-forming complex IRAS 20286+4105, located in the Cygnus X region. Near-infrared K-band data are used to revisit the cluster/stellar group identified in previous studies. Radio continuum observations at 610 and 1280 MHz show the presence of a H II region possibly powered by a star of spectral type B0-B0.5. The cometary morphology of the ionized region is explained by invoking the bow-shock model, where the likely association with a nearby supernova remnant is also explored. A compact radio knot with a non-thermal spectral index is detected towards the centre of the cloud. Mid-infrared data from the Spitzer Legacy Survey of the Cygnus X region show the presence of six Class I young stellar objects inside the cloud. Thermal dust emission in this complex is modelled using Herschel far-infrared data to generate dust temperature and column density maps. Herschel images also show the presence of two clumps in this region, the masses of which are estimated to be ∼175 and 30 M⊙. The mass-radius relation and the surface density of the clumps mean that they do not qualify as massive star-forming sites. An overall picture of a runaway star ionizing the cloud and a triggered population of intermediate-mass, Class I sources located towards the cloud centre emerges from this multiwavelength study. Variation in the dust emissivity spectral index is shown to exist in this region and is seen to have an inverse relation with the dust temperature.