New Cambridge Science Park North could be created to provide midtech employment
A new Cambridge Science Park North could be created to the north of the A14.
Trinity College, which owns the existing Cambridge Science Park, is exploring the concept and has an option to purchase the land.
It has submitted proposals for considering in the emerging Local Plan, while work to revitalise and renew the existing Science Park continues.
Cambridge Science Park director Jane Hutchins told the Cambridge Independent the proposals were “still in the concept stage”.
She explained: “We’ve trialled the concept and consulted very widely with community groups and generally had really good feedback.
“The idea behind Cambridge Science Park North is not to expand the existing Science Park but to create something different to complement it. It’s on the other side of the A14 – you can walk there from here.
“There is an acknowledged shortage in Cambridge of ‘midtech’ employment, not the post-doctoral, highly specialised R&D jobs that you get here, but what comes next, when a company has done the innovation and the research and wants to develop it into a product and needs a prototyping facility, or something of that nature.
“They want that to be really close geographically to their research teams and that’s the vision for Cambridge North.
“At the moment we only have an option to purchase the land from the existing owner, so it is very much an aspiration, and it depends on collaborating with the local authority and whether it gets adopted as a development site in their Local Plan.
“But increasingly as Cambridge grows and is such a successful little city – it is remarkable how much economic contribution comes out of this one small place – that need for those jobs must be fulfilled at some point.
“It also ticks the sustainability box because you won’t have people having to travel significant distances to get from one site to another. They can walk, or hop on an e-scooter or something like that, to get from one side to the other.
“So it reduces the distances being travelled in the working day, which is necessary amid climate change. We can’t hide from that fact any longer.”
Light manufacturing could play a role on the site, but “definitely not” heavy industry, Jane says.
And there is a real prospect of working with Cambridge Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University, helping to provide a mid-tech workforce through apprenticeships.
The site could create 3,000 jobs, it is estimated.
The website for Cambridge Science Park North suggests it will sit in “400 acres of stunning parkland with recreational facilities open to both Science Park employees and local residents” and be an “early adopter of environmental initiatives including green transport, waste management, energy, ecology and smart buildings”.
Located close to the Milton Park & Ride site and the waste transfer site, it is currently farmland. Half of the land would be accessible open space, with suggestions for it including trim trails, walking and cycling routes, sports facilities and play areas.
The aim would be to complement Milton Country Park, bolster biodiversity and in the medium- to long-term reduce car usage across the two sites completely.
You can read our in-depth interview with Jane Hutchins about the future of Cambridge Science Park here.
Visit cambridgesciencepark.co.uk/cambridge-science-park-north/ for more on the Cambridge Science Park North proposals.