Traditional topping out ceremony marks progress at Cromwell Road

A traditional topping out ceremony has taken place at our flagship development, Cromwell Road, Cambridge to celebrate the progress of construction.


Ward Councillors and board members were present to officially infill the final bit of concrete to mark the completion of the highest point of the frame on Block E which consists of 50 market sale homes.


Cromwell Road is our largest scheme to date and will deliver 295 new homes, of which 118 will be brand new council rented homes. The former Ridgeons site will also include a nursery, landscaped central park and open spaces, play equipment, parking for cars and bicycle parking including a basement car park and electric vehicle charging spaces for every house and 10% of the communal area.


All of the council rented homes will be wheelchair accessible, with six of the units specially adapted for wheelchair users. Three of the homes will also be designated as ‘Housing First’ homes for people who had previously been vulnerably housed or homeless.


Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council and board member comments,

“It’s a privilege to be part of this topping out ceremony to mark the excellent progress that has been made at Cromwell Road, particularly with all the restrictions that have been in place due to the pandemic. This development will bring forward a further 118 brand new council homes to the city and help tackle Cambridge’s affordable housing shortage.”


The new homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide which exceeds national policy guidelines and will incorporate a number of sustainable features including green roofs on apartment blocks, photovoltaic panels on roofs of houses and apartments, sustainable urban drainage system incorporated into the landscape and denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce energy bills.


Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“It is wonderful to be able to mark the milestone of this project by holding a topping out ceremony and to celebrate all the hard work by our team and partners during these unprecedented times. As a partnership we are extremely proud of this development and look forward to residents enjoying their new community for years to come.”


We have also committed £250,000 towards three public art commissions as well as £3.2 million towards local schools, parks, sport centres, the Chisholm trail, NHS and open space adoption.


The former Ridgeon Timber was founded in 1911 from the back of Cyril Ridgeon’s house in St Barnabas Road, Cambridge. By 1928 the business had grown enough to acquire the timber yard at Cromwell Road. Logs were sawn, cut and stored on the site for almost 80 years under the management of four generations of the Ridgeon family.

Planning permission granted for new homes on Parcel L2 in Orchard Park

We are thrilled to have been granted planning permission by South Cambridgeshire District Council for 75 new homes, including 40% council rented homes to be built on Parcel L2, Orchard Park after a revised planning application was submitted with Mole Architects to improve the design of the site.


The highly sustainable development has been designed to feature two apartments blocks and a row of coach houses and 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 for 124 bike spaces.


Cllr Mike Todd Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said,

“We are delighted that South Cambs District Council has granted us planning for this high quality, sustainable development which will deliver much needed council homes to the north of the city. Throughout our planning application we have worked closely with the local community through public engagement to take on board their comments for the site which have been incorporated into the final design.”


As well as working closely with the local community to design the scheme, it has also involved them in the masterplan to improve the adjacent public open space. This includes extensive recreational and biodiversity improvements along with a community growing garden, pergola and seating area, trim trail, running track, table tennis table and generous planting.


Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“This planning permission is yet another milestone for our partnership with the permission for a further 30 brand new council homes as well as market sale homes, together with public open space for the community to enjoy. I would like to thank all our partners on this project who have created a really exciting high quality, sustainable scheme.”


The revised design also encourages sustainable methods of travel with above policy provision on cycle spaces, together with electric vehicle charging spaces. Improvements to the public realm have also been made to provide new open spaces that integrate with and enhance the neighbouring public open space, creating a coherent, connected neighbourhood in Orchard Park.


The site is one of the last parcels of land at Orchard Park to be developed and was allocated for housing. The homes will be built in line with the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide using standards which exceed national policy guidelines including denser insulation and wall thickness to minimise heat loss and reduce residents’ energy bills and will include sustainable drainage features.


The new homes at Orchard Park will have excellent accessibility to Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge Business Park, Cambridge North station and the city centre via regular bus routes and the guided busway.

Ribbon cutting marks handover of council homes at Akeman Street

A ribbon cutting ceremony has marked the completion of 14 brand new council homes at Akeman Street, Cambridge by Cambridge Investment Partnership. The development sees the replacement of an existing older building with eight, one bedroom flats and six, two bedroom maisonettes.


Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member comments, “As a partnership we are continuing at pace to deliver brand new council homes in Cambridge, and I am delighted to see the progress and handover of these new houses at Akeman Street.”


As well as the high quality brand new council homes, Cambridge Investment Partnership will also be delivering three retail units and a brand new community centre, which will be open later in the year.


Designed by Mole Architects, the six maisonettes are located over the new community centre and retail spaces while a communal courtyard garden to the rear separates the two buildings with a further eight flats located to rear of the site.


Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said, “It is wonderful to see this site transformed and delivering these brand new council homes as well as the much anticipated new community centre which was an important facility for local residents prior to the pandemic and will open later in the year.”


Four years on from the formation of the equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnership, Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) has exceeded its commitment to start on site to build 500 new council homes by March 2022 - a year early.


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


For further information about Cambridge Investment Partnership please visit


To keep up to date on the new community centre please visit:

Invaluable Week of Virtual work Experience

16 Women into Construction participants recently joined us for a weeklong virtual work experience as part of the Cambridgeshire programme.


The programme included a week of interactive workshops, activities and presentations that explored commercial, technical and production roles in construction, including a welcome from Regional Director of Hill, Tom Hill, a virtual site tour around the Cromwell Road project and virtual site inductions by the CIP team.


Across the week the participants enjoyed Q&A sessions with the commercial, technical and production teams where they discovered the different pathways the teams took into the industry, heard about individual experiences and were able to ask job specific questions to the experts.


“I would thoroughly recommend this programme for anyone who is interested in the construction industry, the course is really informative, and the instructors supported us all the way through.” Said one of the participants.


Participants reported an increase in confidence and industry knowledge having undertaken the experience. They attributed this to the support they received from WIP and CIP, plus the peer-to-peer support across the week.


“The involvement of CIP’s team was invaluable. They offered excellent insight into the disciplines and specific roles during the various mock meetings. The activities they provided were purposeful and thought-provoking. It was interesting and inspiring to hear all your stories and made me realise just what’s possible. I now feel confident in applying in the industry.” Commented another participant.


Participants on the programme are now being supported with training to gain their CSCS cards, practical work placements and industry job brokerage.

Children bury Covid-19 time capsule at Akeman Street

Children from the Akeman Street Children’s Art Club have been spending the past few months creating memories through photographs, writing diary entries and drawing pictures about their experiences and feelings of lockdown during the Covid19 pandemic.


This fantastic work has now been collated and put into a time capsule which has been buried by the children in the grounds of our new development at Akeman Street.

Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said,

“The children have taken a lot of time putting together their work for the time capsule and we would like to thank them for helping us create this lasting memory at Akeman Street. I hope in years to come people will find the time capsule and be able to reflect on what an extraordinary period it has been for all for us.”


As well as the work by the children, a facemask, some protective gloves and a copy of the letter sent by Boris Johnson asking everyone to remain at home have also been added to the contents of the time capsule.


Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill said,

“This past year has been particularly unsettling for children, but this time capsule project has been a great way for the art club to spend time gathering up memories and thoughts and creating something that people will be able to unearth in years to come.”


Designed by Mole Architects, an existing older building has been replaced with 14 brand new council rented homes, consisting of eight flats and six maisonettes. There will also be three new retail units and a brand new community centre which will open later in the year. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, we were aware of the importance of the existing local community centre to residents so arranged for it to be relocated to 39 Akeman Street whilst works continued, to ensure that popular community activities could continue.


To keep up to date on the new community centre please visit:

Seed planting with Messy Play Group

Our Colville team had a great time recently joining the Messy Play Group which takes place at Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Family Centre.


The team set up an activity session to do seed planting with the children with a choice of planting flowers or growing herbs for cooking. The youngest planter was around 6 weeks old, and selected oregano to grow.


The children were able to take their plants home to water and watch them grow.

Shortlisted in industry awards

We are delighted to have been shortlisted in two categories at the Inside Housing Development Awards for Best Partnership (South) and Best Development Team (South).

The awards, which have had a record year for entries, with over 300 entries, celebrates the very best in residential development across the UK from the past two years.

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments,

“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted in these prestigious awards. This is our first time entering these awards and it is fantastic to have the hard work we have done so far recognised by the industry. I would personally like to thank all our team and partners for the work they have done over the past four years.”


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

“From the outset we have worked closely together as a team on the day to day delivery of the programme to get the best outcome, with no problem too big or someone else’s to deal with. This collaborative approach has ensured that we have been able to successfully deliver our target of starting on site to deliver 500 new council homes a year early. We are really proud to be recognised in these industry awards.”


The Best Partnership award recognises that some of the most successful developments have been made possible by strong and genuine collaboration between partners. The winning entry will demonstrate the tangible outcomes possible only because of the partnership.

The Best Development Team will be awarded to the winning team who is able to demonstrate outstanding achievement to deliver high quality new homes and places that meet the needs of residents. Whether the development team is well established or growing, the award recognises ambition and excellent performance.

The winners of the awards will be announced in November.

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 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.”