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Re-imagining a mixed-use inclusive community

The opportunity at Cambridge Business Park, is an example of our Regional strategy in action, supporting the national need for inclusive regeneration and economic development.

At Cambridge, we see a long term opportunity to both build a new and inclusive local community, which facilitates the growth of our existing customers on the park and improves their surrounding environment, as well as supporting new innovative national industries. To ensure our existing customers’ interests are at the heart of our future plans, we have recently appointed a new Business Park Manager from nearby Granta Park with over 20 years’ experience in the Cambridge office and Life Science market.

Cambridge Business Park, is in a strategically important location within the evolving Cambridge Area Action Plan (AAP), and has been earmarked as the new district centre. If adopted, the wider AAP allows for new commercial space to support 20,000 jobs, along with 8,000 new homes, 10 hectares of public open space, three primary schools, and a library. For our site specifically, which would sit in the centre of the AAP, development potential has been allocated for 50,000 sq m of commercial space, 500 new homes and 4,500 sq m for new shops, and community and cultural facilities. The AAP’s ambition aligns strongly with our strategy and purpose, and would be transformational for the area.

Setting the standard

In creating a vision for Cambridge Business Park we recognise that delivering prosperity here requires us to address three fundamental points: Cambridge has some of the highest levels of inequality in the UK, it is a world-leading science and tech hub which needs to continue thriving, and like everywhere, tackling the climate crisis needs to be front and centre of how we do development.

If we are going to lead by example at Cambridge Business Park, tackle these challenges and create a resilient new environment for existing and future customers, the local community, and the Cambridgeshire region, our vision needs to be shaped by answers to some big questions. These include: how can we create a place where everybody feels welcome and can share in the prosperity; how can we deliver long-term, resilient performance; and how can we ensure next generation scientific excellence?

Developing the vision

In developing the vision for Cambridge Business Park, and to address the local context and issues, we’ve taken a new collaborative approach to ensure all relevant voices are included from the outset and are listened to on this important journey for the park. This makes sure the vision takes account of the broadest range of perspectives, while delivering against long-term local needs and aligning to our purpose.

Our internal project team spans the Regional Mixed-use Regeneration team, and experts from our Insight, Workplace, Development, Finance and Digital teams. While externally, our engagement is framed around inclusivity and the local community, we will be liaising with all types of end user and anyone who will be affected by the reshaping and repositioning of Cambridge Business Park – this includes our current customers, local residents and businesses, the science community and its supply chain, the local culture minister, local community stakeholders and many more. An external critical friend panel, covering many of the above diverse perspectives, has been established to capture individual viewpoints and sense check the vision and its outputs, against our objectives, step by step.

To us, this collaborative approach represents a model of how we wish to work in the future, how we could reposition our role regionally, to take a more active part in creating thriving and climate resilient communities across the country.

Through seeking such widespread opinions, we are focussing on the role we can play in creating not just a great place, but long-term social purpose. Our aim at Cambridge Business Park is to create a new type of ecosystem, where the community, science and nature support each other and flourish; a place that leads Cambridge and the UK into the future.

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