Virtual Work Experience Week open to women in Cambridge to gain an insight into the construction industry

April 2021: As part of the award winning Women into Construction (WiC) Cambridgeshire programme, we are working with WiC Project Manager, Shelley Lawrence to deliver a week of virtual work experience for women in Cambridgeshire.

The virtual work experience will run from Monday 26th April to Friday 30th April from 10am to 3pm with participants working with WiC and our commercial, technical and production teams across the week to complete various workshops, activities, Q&As and presentations on Teams.

Shelley Lawrence, Project Manager at Women into Construction comments,

“This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the housebuilding process, discover information about different roles in construction, network with a local employer and gain further employability skills.”

Ellen has been part of the WiC Cambridgeshire programme since October 2019 and currently works on CIP’s Campkin Road site in Cambridge, initially joining as labourer after completing her Level 1 Health and Safety and CSCS test before progressing to Traffic Marshall after passing her Traffic Marshall qualification with ongoing support from the WiC programme.

Lauren registered with WiC after her A-Levels to discover what opportunities were available in construction. After completing her Level 1 Health and Safety and CSCS test on the programme, she was offered a work placement at CIP’s Akeman Street site, where she shadowed site manager, Simon as well as gaining an insight into the other disciplines available in the industry. She is now keen to secure a role as a Trainee Site Manager.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments,

“We are delighted to be running this virtual work experience week in partnership with WiC for women in Cambridgeshire looking to consider a career in the construction industry. There is a shortage of women in our industry and working with WiC allows us to demonstrate the wealth of roles available in the industry, whether it is out on site or within the office.”

Claire Flowers, Head of Housing Development at Cambridge City Council said,

“This weeklong initiative is a great opportunity to attract more women into the industry. We have been really pleased to see Lauren and Ellen already gaining a wealth of experience on our Cambridge Investment Partnership sites and look forward to seeing more women taking part in work placements.”

To register for the virtual work experience week, please contact Shelley.lawrence@women-into-construction.org for more details. This is open to women, 16+, at any stage of their career who are looking for an opportunity to join this creative and dynamic industry.


Initial target of new council homes reached a year early

Four years on from the formation of our partnership, we have exceeded our commitment to start on site to build 500 new council homes by March 2022 - a year early.

Our partnership was established in February 2017 to address the acute housing need in Cambridge by providing high quality brand new council homes and market sale homes, along with commercial and community facilities.

We have already handed over 90 new council homes to local residents and completed seven sites, with work just starting on our new developments, Campkin Road and The Meadows and Buchan Street.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP  board member comments, “When the partnership was set up four years ago, we gave ourselves the ambitious target to be on site building 500 new council homes by March 2022. We are delighted to have achieved this a year ahead of schedule and have now committed further to delivering a minimum of 1,700 new homes, of which 1,000 will be council homes within the next ten years.”

Four years on, we have a mixed portfolio of sites from large city centre brownfield sites providing market and council homes at Mill Road and Cromwell Road; estate regeneration schemes with existing communities and businesses who need to be moved to another location such as Anstey Way and Colville Road and infill schemes, utilising under-used parcels of council land to provide council homes.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said, “We are really proud of what we have achieved so far.

Cambridge Investment Partnership is a success story and we are continuously looking at how we can do more and do things better. Our public consultation process has got better, and we are building higher sustainable homes, with all new developments now gas free, four years ahead of the Government’s targets and our first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council home schemes submitted for planning.

“As well as providing high sustainable new homes, it is important to us that we are investing in the local community in the form of community centres, open space and public art. We are really pleased to be starting at Campkin Road and The Meadow and Buchan Street to deliver much needed new council homes.”

Campkin Road will see the replacement of 32 post war aging council homes and garages, which are no longer fit for purpose, with four new council houses, 71 apartments and a new community centre to meet the needs of the local community.

The homes will range from two bedroom houses through to one and two bedroom apartments, with buildings varying in height of between two and four storeys. CIP will also be creating a new fully accessible community centre which will be located on the ground floor of the north western most building.

Campkin Road has been designed to be in keeping with the local area and will meet high standards of sustainability, being gas free, four years ahead of government legislation, with air source heat pumps, solar thermal, solar PV and waste water heat recovery, green roofs and electric vehicle charging points.

As part of the Campkin Road development, an area of protected open space to the east of the site will be retained with other open spaces created within the site, including private gardens for the houses, a communal garden together with the provision of play equipment to the north-western part of the site.

Work has also just started at The Meadows and Buchan Street sites where the two existing community facilities will be replaced with a modern, highly sustainable community hub, along with brand new council rented apartments, new open space, a public plaza, and retention of a café and shop space.

The Meadows site will provide 78 new one and two bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one and two bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.

The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with the community hub designed to BREEAM Excellent, which is in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.

In addition there will be electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across the two sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources.

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new MUGA (multi-use games area), an improved free-draining FA approved football pitch, new play areas, and a new skate ramp will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision.

As part of the approved plans 93.6% of the open space will be retained, as opposed to 85% proposed under the first consultation and 92% in the second. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 65% in biodiversity for the open space.


Handover of new council homes continues in Cambridge

Handover of new council homes continues in Cambridge with the completion of 15 brand new sustainable council homes at our Ventress Close site in the Queen Edith’s ward of the city.

As part of our commitment to meet the existing and future housing needs in Cambridge, one of our focuses is identifying sites across the city with aging council homes which are no longer fit for purpose.

Designed by architects Rock Townsend, four existing maisonettes have been demolished to provide 15 brand new energy efficient council homes, including 12, one and two bedroom apartments and three, new three bedroom homes with designated parking and landscaping to meet the demands of the local community.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing for Cambridge City Council and CIP  board member comments, “The completion of Ventress Close marks our hand over of 90 brand new council homes to local communities across the city. We are extremely pleased to have been able to achieve this in the past year and continue to our push forward our extensive programme to deliver further council homes in Cambridge.”

Sustainability is key at Ventress Close with photovoltaic solar panels featuring and a green roof included in the design of the apartments. A ‘bug hotel’ has also been incorporated into the project to provide shelter for insects, and CIP has planted 21 new trees and also seeded wildflower meadows which will grow when the warmer weather arrives.

Tom Hill, Regional Director at Hill said, “We are really proud of the progress CIP is making in Cambridge to deliver much needed homes to the City. As a partnership we are able to bring our skills together and work on underutilised sites with aging properties as well as large city centre brownfield sites. I would like to thank our team and supply chain for all their hard work in these challenging times by adapting and adjusting the environment to keep things safe and operational in order to deliver these much needed new council homes.”


Planning applications submitted for the first Pilot Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

We have submitted two planning applications to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council home projects in Cambridge. The planning applications at Fen Road and Ditton Fields will provide 18 low carbon new council homes as part of the Cambridge City Council’s programme to provide new homes in the city and its commitments to tackling the climate emergency.

Working closely with experienced architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards, the pilot new ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very high standards of environmental sustainability, with all the homes having very low energy use and heating costs. They will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

Computer Generated Image of Ditton Fields

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “As part of the council’s new Housing Sustainable Design Guide, these planning applications for the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council house developments are a major step forward to addressing both the housing needs and towards our goal to be a zero net carbon city in the coming years.

“The design of these homes will help tackle fuel poverty with low running costs, resulting from minimal energy being used to keep the home warm, and air leakage at a very low level.”

The site at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton, is currently not in use but accommodates two existing single storey buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and were previously used as an assisted living facility. The proposed housing scheme will provide 12 low carbon new council homes and create a new, safe and green access for walking and cycling to the Five Trees open space, which will be preserved in its entirety, helping the local community to enjoy this space.

There will also be parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points and generous provision for new cycle parking. This well positioned site will provide easy access to the city centre and other amenities for local residents.

Six ‘Passivhaus’ new council homes are also proposed at Ditton Fields along with parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, secure cycle parking for every home and new trees and planting provided in front on the new homes on Ditton Fields.

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “We are committed to providing high environmental standards and we are delighted to be submitting our first ‘Passivhaus’ schemes. As well as providing these low carbon homes, all our developments are now gas free, five years ahead of the Government’s targets with high levels of insulation and are built in accordance with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide.”

Our team has worked with Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward these two schemes.


Calling all Tea Lovers!

On Saturday 6th February at 10.30am Ironworks at Mill Road Artist in Residence Hilary Cox Condron and local herbalist Vanessa Neville will be holding an online pop-up tea tasting in conjunction with the Forge Exhibition.

Vanessa Neville is an experienced practising herbalist working in clinics and online and leads seasonal walks, herbal talks and herbal medicine events. On the day you will prepare tea, drink, share and learn about the mystery of plants and herbs through our sense of smell,, taste and where its affects our bodies.

You will also learn:

  • Good identification, drying and storage practice for harvested plants.
  • How to grow our plants for medicine.
  • What effects and medicine the mystery herb gives us.

To register for the event please click on the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-herbal-tea-tasting-sharing-traditional-knowledge-tickets-136838564831

When you sign up, you will be asked for your address so that Vanessa can send you in the post a herb to use in the workshop. (The herb Vanessa will send out is classed as food medicine and has no known contraindications or side effects. It is a safe traditional indigenous plant).

You will also be sent a Zoom link to join the workshop on the date to the email address provided when you sign up.

This event is free and part of our exhibition FORGE.

Date/Time - 6 February 2021 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Buyers boomerang back to Mill Road in Cambridge

After recently returning to their two-bedroom Victorian home in Petersfield, Cambridge, following a 12-year stay in China, Phil and his wife realised that they needed a home that better suited their needs but refused to leave this hidden gem in the heart of Cambridge.

Phil comments:

“We originally moved from London to Cambridge back in the early 2000’s as it was more convenient for work, and we immediately fell in love with Mill Road. It has so much to offer – a vibrant community feel along with a fantastic selection of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Particular favourites are the extensive spice den at Al-Amin, and the 100% vegetarian wholefood shop, Arjuna. The area reminded us of our favourite parts of London and we sought to purchase our first home here in 2003.”

“We then relocated to China in 2007 for work and became very accustomed to the fantastic array of local produce and ingredients that were available whilst living abroad. We were pleased to return to Mill Road to see that it had maintained its independent, culturally diverse, identity.”

The couple found Ironworks, Mill Road, located just 500 metres from their previous property, early in their property search. Phil states:

“When we decided to move we found it tricky to find anywhere that really lived up to what Mill Road has to offer. We wanted more space and the convenience of a modern construction, but didn’t want to compromise on location, so we were really excited when we found Ironworks.”

Ironworks is located in the midst of all that Mill Road has to offer, with a vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants all available on residents’ doorsteps. A hidden gem, the area is one of Cambridge’s most diverse and intriguing neighbourhoods.

Phil continues:

‘The three-bedroom house at Ironworks ticked all of our boxes. It offered us more space, the all-important location, and energy efficient features such as the electric car charging point and solar panels – certainly quite the upgrade from our 150-year-old Victorian home!”

Before the pandemic, Phil regularly commuted to Royston, which would take him just 15-minutes from Cambridge train station. Phil comments:

“What we love about Ironworks and the surrounding area is that it is a real hidden city gem and that it is just an eight-minute walk to the station. Living here means that I get to enjoy all that Mill Road has to offer and I can easily commute to Royston, and to London. You can also catch a direct train to Stansted Airport from Cambridge station that takes just 30 minutes – this will be helpful when international business travel resumes.

“Working from home will be far more common than before, so we’re really pleased to have a third bedroom which we have transformed into a home office. We’re also very grateful to have outdoor space with the front terrace and the rear courtyard, which the living room opens onto, really allowing the outside space to be a part of the living area.”

Phil in Mill Road


Residents Liaison Meeting to be held for The Meadows and Buchan Street

Cambridge Investment Partnership is inviting local residents around The Meadows and Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centres to attend an online Residents Liaison Meeting on Wednesday 27th January from 6pm to 7pm.

The virtual meeting is being held to provide an update on the planned development scheme for The Meadows and Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre sites, giving an overview of the design and construction phases, updates and key next steps in terms of housing, new community hub and public art and a chance for residents to ask the Cambridge Investment Partnership team any questions.

To join the meeting on Zoom and if you wish to ask the team a question please email simon.aslett@cambridge.gov.uk by Monday 25th January 2021. Questions will be taken in advance of the meeting.

Further information can also be found here:  https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/get-involved-in-the-new-neighbourhoods

Cambridge Investment Partnership was granted planning for The Meadows and Buchan Street site in August 2020. The two existing community facilities will be replaced with a modern, highly sustainable community hub, along with brand new council rented apartments, new open space, a public plaza, and retention of a café and shop space.

The Meadows site will provide 78 new one and two bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one and two bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new MUGA (multi-use games area), an improved free-draining football pitch, new play areas, and a new skate ramp will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 65% in biodiversity for the open space.


Masterpiece created by local residents on the hoarding at Orchard Park

Local residents and artists have been working hard to create a truly inspirational hoarding design at our Orchard Park site.

We were really keen to make the hoarding as colourful and vibrant as possible so approached the local community to see if they would like to be involved. Marmalade Lane cohousing community, opposite the Orchard Park site, proposed a mural design which highlights the natural world that exists in this corner of Cambridge.

We donated the painting materials but many others were also keen to be involved. Many residents in Orchard Park donated jam jars, left over paints and made donations to buy brushes whilst the local postman gave a few elastic bands to help the artists secure their drawings and stop them blowing away.

Students from Cambridge Regional College and pupils from Kings Hedges School were also among dozens of passers-by who stopped every day to admire the work as the fantastic mural came to life with some passers-by commenting:

“Thank you for making this little bit of the world more beautiful.” 

“It lifts my spirits to see this lovely picture every day.”

“We always go the long way around so the children can see what’s new each time we pass.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill comments, “We are so impressed with the quality of art that has been produced on our hoarding and the amount of work that has gone into it. It is wonderful to see the positive reaction that it is receiving on a daily basis from local residents and we would like to thank everyone who have generously given their time and talent to create this stunning masterpiece.”

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member comments, “This site at Orchard Park is another important part of our council homes programme that will see us exceeding our target of building 500 brand new council homes by March 2022. It is great to see people coming together to create this attractive, inspiring mural which I am sure will be welcomed by local residents.”

Helen Golden, one of the local artists involved explains the inspiration behind the hoarding, “Despite our built environment, mother nature is all around us if we care to look. Our hope is that people will be inspired to notice the beauty of the plants and creatures here in Orchard Park, and to value them and take care of them.”

Maria Posa, one of Helen’s neighbours, who has been Helen’s assistant during the painting of the mural,  brought her passion for birds and butterflies to the project said, “I never dreamed I could do such a thing. It’s one of the best things I’ve done in the whole of my life.” 

We have submitted a revised planning application for Parcel L2, Orchard Park. The revised application will provide 75 new homes, including 40% council rented homes in a creative new design with two apartment blocks and a row of coach houses.

The highly sustainable development will be ‘gas free’ with air source heat pumps, biodiverse green roofs, six electric charging spaces, one hybrid/electric car club vehicle and above-policy cycle parking provision of 124 bike spaces.

We have worked closely with the local community to design the scheme and a masterplan of improvements to the adjacent public open space. These include extensive recreational and biodiversity improvements and include a community growing garden, pergola and seating area, trim trail, running track, table tennis table and generous planting.

The scheme will include sustainable drainage features and there will be additional tree planting to provide privacy to the flats at Engledow Drive.

CIP Orchard Park Artwork


Cambridge Investment Partnership consults local community on new low carbon council homes

Residents are being invited to take part in the public consultation to develop two new sites for much needed council homes. They are being developed by Cambridge Investment Partnership for consideration by the Housing Scrutiny Committee in January. These sites form part of Cambridge City Council’s programme to provide new homes in the city.

The two sites, purchased by Cambridge City Council earlier this year, are located at 71-73 Fen Road, East Chesterton, currently not in use but accommodating two existing single storey buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and were previously used as an assisted living facility and Ditton Walk in the Abbey Ward of the city.

The proposed housing scheme at Fen Road will provide 12 low carbon new council homes and create a new, safe and green access for walking and cycling to the Five Trees open space, which will be preserved in its entirety, helping the local community to enjoy this space.

The new homes will be certified ‘Passivhaus’, meeting very high standards of environmental sustainability, meaning all the homes will have very low energy use and heating costs. There will also be parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points and generous provision for new cycle parking. This well positioned site will provide easy access to the city centre and other amenities for local residents.

At Ditton Walk, Cambridge Investment Partnership is proposing to provide six low carbon new council homes, also ‘Passivhaus’ with parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, secure cycle parking for every home and new trees and planting provided in front on the new homes on Ditton Walk.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said,

“These proposed homes form part of our vision to create highly sustainable, successful new places for local people to live in Cambridge. We are also committed to achieving the highest environmental standards for our new homes, with all future developments being gas-free and these proposals marking the Council’s first ‘Passivhaus’ developments and the largest Passivhaus scheme in Cambridge to date.”

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments,

“It’s a really exciting time for the Partnership as we develop these new proposals for our low carbon council homes. The public online consultation for Fen Road is now open and we urge the local community to visit the website and view the proposals. We are also hosting live webinar for this project on Wednesday evening where you can find out more about these proposals and ask the project team any questions.”

The live webinar for Fen Road will take place on Wednesday 16th December at 6pm where the project team will talk through the exhibition boards for the sites. Residents will have the chance to send in questions ahead of the webinar and the team will respond to any received before or during the live webinar, as well as responding separately to any enquiries received afterwards. To register please visit https://yoursay.online/fen-road#live-webinar. Feedback can also be shared by contacting ltatton@conciliocomms.com or call freephone number 0800 193 1869.

Residents can also leave feedback for the Ditton Walk site by contacting ltatton@conciliocomms.com or calling freephone number 0800 193 1869.

To view Fen Road consultation website please visit https://yoursay.online/fen-road. The exhibition boards can also be viewed at https://yoursay.online/assets/fen-road-consultation-boards-website.pdf


FORGE: pop-up exhibition 19th December 2020 – 8th February 2021

The Museum of Cambridge play host to a multimedia exhibition inspired by the history of Ironworks

Ironworks Artist in Residence, Hilary Cox Condron is holding a multimedia exhibition at The Museum of Cambridge which has been inspired by the history of the Ironworks.

The FORGE exhibition presents a thought-provoking look and celebration of how the community has flourished through rediscovering and making new connections with local heritage, nature and traditions. FORGE will take you on a journey through the museum to explore artefacts from the past to the present-day. The display highlights how the revival and sharing of these traditions and crafts over the past year has given us hope and helped to inspire a kinder future.

Inspired by the people and history of Sturton Town, Ironworks and Mill Road, FORGE has been conceived by Ironworks artist-in-residence Hilary Cox Condron and co-curated with community historian Helen Weinstein, local residents and The Museum of Cambridge.

Come along to the Museum of Cambridge between the 19th December 2020 and the 8th February 2021 and see the FORGE installations throughout the museum. The exhibitions and digital displays will shed new light on the former occupants of the homes around Ironworks and how the area's past has informed the artworks that will feature within the public spaces being created as part of the new homes being built.

Throughout the exhibition will be a series of online events and workshops for audiences to delve a little deeper into some of the presentations, for a full list and up-to-date information please visit www.resonance-cambridge.co.uk/forge

Please note that there is a maximum of 18 visitors in the museum at any time.

Opening Times
Thursdays to Saturdays 1pm
1st Sunday of the month 12pm-4pm
There is no need to book your visit and tickets can be purchased at the Museum.

Holiday Opening Hours
The Museum will be closed for the bank holidays on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th December and Friday 1st January. The Museum has added an additional opening day on Wednesday 30th December 12pm-5pm.

Please note that there is a maximum of 18 visitors in the museum at any time and entrance fee. The date and duration of this exhibition is subject to covid-19 restrictions and our own risk mitigation policies. For up-to-date information and opening hours please visit www.museumofcambridge.org.uk or phone 01223 355159.
The Museum of Cambridge, 2-3 Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ.

FORGE forms part of the Resonance-Cambridge public art programme for the new homes being built by the Cambridge Investment Partnership.

For more information, contact:
Hilary Cox Condron hilarycoxcondron@gmail.com