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Multi-million pound revamp will open up Cambridge riverfront

Old Press/Mill Pond could be revamped under new plans from Cambridge University
Old Press/Mill Pond could be revamped under new plans from Cambridge University

Massive development plans for the heart of the city

A stunning multi-million pound plan to regenerate an area in the heart of Cambridge is set to be unveiled later this month.

The bold plan for the regeneration of the historic Old Press/Mill Lane area, proposed by Cambridge University and Pembroke, Darwin and Queens’ Colleges, include a public open space on the riverfront, retail and leisure facilities.

The total cost is expected to cost well in excess of £35m and will also see the rejuvenation of existing historical buildings, plus new student accommodation

The colleges will reveal their vision on March 22-23 between 4pm and 8pm at the University Centre on Mill Lane.

The university’s pro-vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell, said: “Cambridge is a world class city and we’re very proud of these proposals, which will bring a real energy to this area. We hope to improve life for both resident and visitor and would very much welcome people’s feedback as we finalise our plans”

One of the aims of the regeneration scheme is to transform an important quarter of the city and draw residents, students and visitors to the area.

Existing historical buildings will be rejuvenated carefully, complemented with new high-quality architecture to provide much-needed and centrally located new student rooms.

The vision is to seamlessly integrate university and college accommodation in a vibrant new city centre quarter, which links closely to the rest of the city.

The university will be consulting with the city council, key local and regional stakeholders, members of the university and members of the public prior to the submission of the masterplan.

As part of the same development, the university is also carrying out a public consultation on the University Centre which is a key part of the Old Press/Mill Lane site.

The centre is home to a café, restaurant, wine bar, and dining hall, and is currently used for a variety of formal and informal uses by the university and its alumni, as well as external users, with around 390,000 visitors a year.

Plans were first announced for development of the area in 2010. A portion of the money being used to revitalise the area is believed to come from Pembroke College’s £35 million pledge from the late Dr Ray Dolby’s family – who donated the astonishing gift in 2015.

The college said that the money would be used to build new graduate and undergraduate accommodation.

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