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


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


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


Mill Road to sparkle throughout December

This December a sparkling celebration of Mill Road is taking place. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the popular Mill Road Winter Fair can’t take place so it is being replaced by the first online Fair and Lantern Trail.

Ten beautifully crafted community lanterns, inspired by ideas and images gathered from residents in the streets off Mill Road, are being displayed in ten shops and businesses along the road. The lanterns, created by local illustrator, designer and artist Penny Sobr, will be illuminated until 20th December, including one for our development, Ironworks. An accompanying history trail will also provide fascinating stories about a number of Mill Road’s best-loved buildings.

Further lanterns for other streets and shops are planned for next year, which will all be brought together within community lantern parades at future Winter Fairs.

From 1st December, the talents and diversity of the local community will shine in the online fair,  which offers the chance to watch some of the Fair’s favourite performers and buy locally produced and beautifully hand-crafted gifts. The fair offers a selection of familiar stalls and much-loved performers as well as an exhibition of local artists, plus videos and activities from many of our partner organisations, including University of Cambridge Museums, Mill Road TV, Cambridge Hands-On Science, The Junction, Mill Road History Society, and more. This ‘virtually brilliant’ fair means you can support local businesses and stallholders this Christmas by visiting www.millroadwinterfair.org


We couldn’t believe our luck that we got a brand new council home

With Cambridge’s population predicted to increase to 150,000 by 2031, and private rents amongst the highest in the UK, we are committed to building at least 500 brand new council homes by 2022 to ensure all residents have a range of housing options.

Akram Ali (35) grew up in the Arbury area of the City, with his parents and six brothers and sisters. His parents, originally from Bangladesh, bought their council home and continue to live there. In 2011 on a visit to Bangladesh Akram met his future wife, Tamanna (30) who was able to move to the UK in 2012 and the couple moved into his parents’ house.

Akram comments,

“We were keen to start our family straight away and had our daughter Ayaath six years ago, followed by a son Ayaaz, now aged three and recently another son Alvi, now seven months old. My parents were happy us all living with them, but as our family grew larger, and all of us living in just one bedroom, we knew it was time to look at other options.

“I decided to go to the council to ask for some advice and they recommended going on the housing register for a new home. Initially we were a banding of B but with the arrival of our third child we moved to A.

“The Coronavirus then hit and we weren’t sure how this would affect us getting a home. Understandably there were some delays as we weren’t able to bid on properties but we kept looking until we could. As lockdown restrictions started to ease, we came across details of the new council homes being built at Wulfstan Way and were really interested so put a bid in. We couldn’t believe it when we were successful as it was only our second home to bid on.

“My wife and I fell in love with it straight away. The house has three bedrooms and we really liked the detached style, with just two other new homes in a small cul-de-sac. The quality of build is really good with big windows everywhere and inside it has been designed really well; you feel like a lot of thought has gone into the house, such as lots of plug sockets in really useful places.

“It’s also ideal for the children as there is an excellent primary school close by which my daughter is now attending and really loves – she’s already made 14 friends! It’s also a great location for me working at a local Indian restaurant on Victoria Road and my wife, who stays at home looking after the children, can easily walk to the school to pick up Ayaath.

“We feel very fortunate that our first tenancy is a brand new council home, and my parents are so happy for us. Its lovely to have some space to raise our young family.”

Wulfstan Way, located in the Queen Edith’s Ward of the city, features two brand new two bedroom council homes and one, three bedroom council home, all with off street parking. The site was identified as part of the City Council’s strategy to use under-utilised parcels of land.

The homes are energy efficient and include a number of sustainable features including photovoltaic solar panels, reduced water consumption and a reduction in carbon emissions.


Tree planting at Colville Primary School

Our Colville Road team has paid another visit to Colville Primary School, this time to plant some trees. Three trees were removed from the existing landscaping on our Colville Road site prior to demolition and transported to the school by our team, Ben Croucher (Site Manager), Alex Storey (Technical Coordinator) and Zoe Patman-Wallis (Administrator).

A group of year six pupils took time preparing some holes in the morning, whilst another group of year six spent time in the afternoon with the Colville Road team re-planting the trees in the grounds of the school.

Colville Road Primary School tree planting


Local community invited to reflect on what lockdown has meant to them on the ‘Tree of Plenty”

On the junction between Kingston, Sturton and Hooper Street, an eye-catching, colourful tree has appeared decorated with garlands, ribbons, beads and wonderful messages.

This Tree of Plenty is the inspiration of our Artist in Residence at Ironworks, Hilary Cox Condron, who was keen to engage with the local community and help them mark their experiences and memories of lockdown.

Hilary explains,

“Art and nature really helped me through the lockdown period and I wanted to create something for the local community that could be used to stimulate peoples imagination and allow them to think about what they want to take away from the lockdown experience.

“I asked residents to make a Garland of Thanks to put on the Tree of Plenty so they could share who or what has been important to them, give thanks and most of all spread of little joy. The reaction to it so far has been really positive and I am so impressed with what has been created.”

Local resident Julie brought along a beautiful stream of ribbons and beads that she made for a project. She is already retired and said lockdown hadn’t made that much difference to her.

Sue bought some rosemary from her garden, a herb of remembrance which has been tied to the bottom of the tree.

Many others have posted about time spent homemaking, mending sheds, making sourdough bread, tending to allotments that have never looked so good and going through old photos and memoirs. Another resident has even seen butterflies in his garden for the first time whilst others spoke about goldfinches, ladybirds and even grass snakes.

Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member adds, “The Tree of Plenty is a wonderful addition to the Mill Road area and a lovely way to positively reflect on what has happened this year. As a partnership we have commissioned an extensive programme of public art across our programme of new housing with a number of different artists, including Hilary, who are working with the existing community to create stunning artwork that will eventually be installed across our developments.”

As part of the programme, titled Resonance Cambridge, the artists commissioned will be delivering a range of talks, walks, workshops and much more in collaboration with local residents over the next few years. The activities and stories collected will inform the design and character of the artworks commissioned for the new public spaces being created.

At the former Mill Road depot, we are building 236 new studio, one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses, 118 of which are council rented homes. Known as Ironworks, the scheme has been designed to reflect the industrial character of the area by combining bold and contemporary design to create a distinctive collection of homes, in keeping with the aesthetics of the area.

For further information about the public art programme ‘Resonance-Cambridge’ and to find out about events taking place in locations across Cambridge please visit www.resonance-cambridge.co.uk

For those interested in sharing their thoughts and stories with Hilary please contact her at hilarycoxcondron@gmail.com. Hilary will be holding an ‘Resonate and Reconnect’ exhibition at The Museum of Cambridge in December.


Calling all budding artists!

With the Easter holidays taking quite a different format this year and a few weeks of home-schooling already under our belts, we wanted to create a bit of fun for children by holding a ‘Design Your Dream Sustainable Home’ competition.

The competition is split into three different age groups:

  • 0 to 5 year olds
  • 5 to 10 year olds
  • 10 to 15 year olds.

All you need to do is get those creative juices flowing and design what you think your dream sustainable home should look like.

Things to consider:

  • Make sure you include the typical rooms your normally find in a home such as kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedrooms
  • Think about the environmental features such as green roofs, solar panels, insulation
  • Include some recycling features
  • And add a bit of imagination and fun

The five best entries from each of the age groups will be selected by our investment team and will then be displayed on the front of the hoardings on one of our Cambridge Investment Partnership sites, along with the family tour of the site and a Hill ‘goodie bag’ featuring pens, teddy, memory stick, note pads, water bottle and bag.

Entries can be scanned or photographed and emailed to us at info@ip-cambridge.co.uk.

Closing date for the competition is Friday 17th April. Please share with your friends – we can’t wait to see the entries!


A partnership addressing the housing shortage across Cambridge

It has been widely reported that The Chartered Institute of Housing and National Housing Federation are both calling for more than 1.5 million social homes to be built over the next 10 years, with at least 90,000 of these for social rent each year.

And through CIP, an equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships, we are already addressing the housing shortage and delivering brand new council rented and market sale homes across Cambridge.

CIP was set up in 2017 in a bid to tackle the affordable housing shortage across the city by investing and transforming Council-owned and other land across the city and bringing together the best of public and private sector expertise to provide homes that are fit for the future.

Having already started on site at ten locations across the city, we are anticipating being on site and building in excess of its committed target of 500 new council rented homes by March 2022.

We will also be developing a mixed portfolio of sites ranging from two units in a garden infill or garage site, making use of under-used parcels of City Council land, through to large-scale residential brownfield development which is providing a mix of market and affordable housing, including 295 at Cromwell Road.

Claire Flowers, Head of Housing Development Agency for Cambridge City Council and CIP Investment Team member said:

“Through this partnership, it has enabled the Council to accelerate its plans to build more affordable housing.

“As well as building brand new council homes we are also replacing poor quality homes with new highly sustainable homes and providing a mix of market sale properties which will be fully integrated into the neighbourhoods.

“We already have planning permission for 700 new homes across 11 sites which includes 354 brand new council homes which means we are 71% towards our target of 500.

“In addition, the partnership has identified the potential for a further 1000 new homes which will include at least 400 new council rented homes and we are expecting be on site and  reach our target 18 months earlier than originally planned.”

Community is also at the forefront on every development and we will carefully consider community and commercial amenities, such as community centres and green space, along with job and training opportunities to ensure residents lifestyles are enhanced. We are also committed to creating vibrant communities for existing and new residents that will support the local economy for the future.