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Pembroke College plans big expansion

The front of Pembroke College, Cambridge
The front of Pembroke College, Cambridge

Pembroke College has revealed details of its proposed expansion, which includes converting the Emmanuel United Reform Church into a lecture and performance space.

The college, in Trumpington Street, has the opportunity to redevelop the Old Press site off Mill Lane as part of wider plans for the area being drawn up by the University of Cambridge and Queens’ and Darwin colleges.

Pembroke’s proposals, revealed in September at a two-day exhibition, include a 92-room residential court for students – to be named after Ray and Dagmar Dolby – which would require three new buildings. The three-sided court would open up onto Stuart House, built in 1925 as a library and administrative space, and would become a social hub featuring common rooms, a reading room and café.

The college will convert Emmanuel United Reformed Church, on Trumpington Street, after the congregation moves to its new home at St Columba’s Church in 2020.

The final piece of the plans would be a new gatehouse to provide access to the site, proposed to replace 75 Trumpington Street, opposite the original college. As well as a reception area and porters’ lodge, there would be a public gallery space.

The college states: “While many colleges have annexes that can be some distance from their original site, the development of Mill Lane gives Pembroke the rare opportunity to significantly expand within the historic city centre.”

It adds: “With the generous gift from the Dolby family, it will provide new world-class accommodation by replacing or redeveloping facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, and will enable the creation of a new residential court and expansion into a number of historically significant buildings on Trumpington Street.”

The expansion would also allow the college to free up accommodation within the existing site – an increase of about 130 rooms.

A public consultation is taking place up until October 17. Visit pembroke-consultation.co.uk to view further details and have your say.

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