Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment design, English shopping centre images, Pioneer Group UK retail renewal

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment News

9 February 2024

Planning Approved For Corstorphine & Wright’s Grafton Centre Redevelopment In Cambridge

Design: Corstorphine & Wright

Leading architecture firm, Corstorphine & Wright, has been given the green light for the redevelopment of the Grafton Centre in Cambridge, UK.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment
building design images courtesy of architects practice

Grafton Centre Building Redevelopment

Cambridge City Council granted planning approval for the ambitious project this week, marking a crucial step forward in the transformation of this central shopping location which has been in decline over recent years.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment

Initiated by Pioneer Group – a leading developer and operator of life science and high-tech campuses – The Grafton Centre will undergo a comprehensive revitalisation; a large area of the existing shopping centre will be converted into laboratory and office space for start-ups, small businesses, and established companies in the science and technology industry – a sector which is growing and needs more space across the city.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment

The western end of the centre will also be renovated to provide an improved experience for local shoppers. New public areas, including a public square, will ensure that the retained retail provision is higher quality to ensure its long-term success and viability.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment

The redevelopment will make a major contribution towards addressing an acute demand and short supply of laboratories within Cambridge, recognised as a national priority.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment

Key highlights of the approved redevelopment plan include:

• Long term improvements to retail, with an anticipated £111.2 million extra economic impact on the surroundings
• Positive environmental benefits, including +538% biodiversity net gain and 18,500 tonnes carbon savings through repurposing existing buildings
• Up to 2,000 jobs from PhD to entry level created within the new science centre
• Creating a sustainable research ‘ecosystem’ linking start-ups, experts and entrepreneurs in the life sciences sector
• A new community science lab / classroom with a programme of community outreach and STEM investment
• Architectural enhancement to the centre, creating an ‘outward looking’ building that reactivates the surrounding public realm.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building design

Cambridge City Council Town Planners welcome the scheme as a “significant opportunity” to bring “strong benefits economically, socially and environmentally” to the Grafton Centre and the centre of Cambridge.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building design

Richard O’Boyle, Chief Executive of Pioneer Group, which owns and manages science centres in eleven towns and cities in the UK, said:

“By providing spaces suitable for international companies and small start-ups in one building in the city centre, scientists here will be able to collaborate with each other, mentors from Pioneer, researchers in the city’s amazing universities, and investors to help them develop lifesaving new technologies. Cambridge is at the heart of the UK’s research industry, but new lab space is in short supply and desperately needed. By providing this space in the city centre we will also deliver new jobs near where people live, encouraging more sustainable travel as well as helping local shops, cafes and restaurants to thrive.”

Grafton Centre Cambridge building design

Michael Walters, Group Director at Corstorphine & Wright, who have designed the scheme, said:

“We are delighted to receive planning approval for the Grafton Centre redevelopment. This project represents a significant investment in the future of Cambridge, and we are eager to bring our extensive town centre regeneration experience providing a sustainable future to current distressed assets. We are also pleased to continue our work with Pioneer Group to create desirable and flexible lab space and contribute to the city’s continued growth and development.”

The plans can be viewed in full on the planning portal, using the reference 23/02685/FUL or clicking here.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building design

Grafton Centre Redevelopment – Building Information

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, southeast England, UK
Local authority: Cambridge City Council
Type of project: Mixed-use redevelopment of Grafton Centre

Client: Pioneer Group / Angelo Gordon
Architect: Corstorphine & Wright
Landscape architect : Macgregor Smith
Planning consultant: Bidwell
Structural engineer: Mosaic
M&E consultant: K J Tait
Quantity surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald

Grafton Centre Cambridge building design

Corstorphine & Wright

Corstorphine & Wright is an award-winning architectural practice with a team of expert architects and designers across eleven studios and is ranked at number 14 in the AJ100. Corstorphine & Wright design to create that elusive ‘must-have’ quality, translating requirements, constraints and opportunities into places that are more than the sum of their parts.

That way, you get intelligently-designed places – places that Invigorate communities and maximise long-term civic and commercial value.

Grafton Centre Cambridge building redevelopment images / information received 090224 from Corstorphine & Wright

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, south east England, UK

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