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.