Progress continues on the University’s largest single capital project, the North West Cambridge Development.

The new community in the North West Cambridge Development will be home to approximately 8,500 residents, and provide much needed affordable accommodation for University and College staff, as well as private housing, graduate accommodation, research space and a local centre including a primary school, community centre, GP surgery, hotel, supermarket and local shops. 

These facilities, as well as new parks and open spaces, will be an asset to the new community and the surrounding area, and the development will be built to meet high standards of sustainability.

Important community and social infrastructure will be delivered within the first phase of the development. 

The designs for the supermarket, community centre, post-graduate housing and University key worker homes have recently been unanimously approved by the local authorities, and the main contracts will be placed in the coming months.

To complement the University developments and to create a balanced community, the University is currently selecting development partners for the residential homes for private sale, hotel and senior living accommodation, which will also be part of the first phase of development. 

The project team has now moved to Gravel Hill Farm on Madingley Rise.  The farm complex includes the renovation of a Victorian farmhouse, barns and the addition of a timber clad building which houses the project team, and includes a community room for local residents’ use and artists’ studios, where the development’s Public Art Strategy is being implemented. 

The first exhibitions will be open to the public in June, which include a scale model of the first phase of development made out of cob by artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, and a structural 3-dimensional sculpture of the galaxy inspired by the Institute of Astronomy’s involvement with the GAIA project, created by Tania Kovats.

Roger Taylor, Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development and Director of Estates Strategy for the University said: “A considerable number of milestones have been achieved across the project in the last year, and the benefits that this project will bring to the University and to Cambridge are now even nearer to being realised.”

One of the first buildings that will be delivered on the site will be the primary school, which is due to open in September 2015. 

The University of Cambridge Primary School Trust will operate the new primary school, which will be a training school linked to the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, forming part of its Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated PGCE programme.

The University of Cambridge Primary School Trust is now recruiting a Headteacher who will provide innovative leadership for this flagship part of the development.  Details of the role are on the University’s website and the closing date is 9 June.

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