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Beehive Centre redevelopment in Cambridge to include youth workshop centre





Teenagers from the Cambs Youth Panel have been asked by developers Railpen to design its first ever iGlu youth facility as part of plans for the Beehive Centre.

The Cambridge shopping area is earmarked for redevelopment into a science and technology-led park.

Designed by local young people, iGlu will host a variety of youth activities and workshops. Early designs for the iGlu include a modern building which will encourage renewable and carbon net zero principles on the outside. Inside the space will offer features like free phone charging, Bluetooth speakers, information screens, and CCTV security.

Cambridge Youth Panel discussing the plans for the iGlu. Picture: Julian Eales (Eales Photography).
Cambridge Youth Panel discussing the plans for the iGlu. Picture: Julian Eales (Eales Photography).

Railpen states that the iGlu will open as a “meanwhile” space but that it “hopes” the centre will be made permanent as part of the wider redevelopment plans for the Beehive Centre.

The founder of the Cambs Youth Panel, Phil Priestley, said: “The iGlu is something that Cambs Youth Panel and Cambridge 2030 have been striving to deliver for young people in Cambridgeshire for some time. It’s a universally popular idea and it has been held back by the COVID-19 pandemic. The support of Railpen, and the opportunity presented through the redevelopment of such a key local area as the Beehive Centre, has presented an amazing opportunity to make this happen. We’re very excited to be working with Railpen – and the commitment that their entire team has shown to supporting young people in Cambridge has breathed new life into the whole concept”.

Cambridge Youth Panel discussing the plans for the iGlu. Picture: Julian Eales (Eales Photography).
Cambridge Youth Panel discussing the plans for the iGlu. Picture: Julian Eales (Eales Photography).

Hollie, 16, who took part in the design workshop, said: “We are so excited to be developing this iGlu as our passion is about supporting and giving opportunities to those in the young community. By creating this space in the Beehive centre we’ll be showing everyone how essential it is that teenagers feel welcome in open spaces.”

Head of Property Asset Management at Railpen, Matthew Howard, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Cambridge Youth Panel to deliver its innovative iGlu concept at the Beehive Centre, which we know will make a huge difference to the lives of young people and to the wider community. This is especially important at this time to show young people and the area that we are investing in their futures, and to enable groups like Cambridge Youth Panel to reach many more young people in the years to come.”

Railpen aims to take its proposals for the Beehive Centre redevelopment to Cambridge City Council’s planning committee next year, with the first phase of construction completed by 2027 and the final phase by 2029. Construction is not expected to start until April 2025.



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