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Three-storey community building on the West Cambridge campus would be open to all

By Ben Comber

Shared Facilities Hub at West Cambridge site
Shared Facilities Hub at West Cambridge site

Work on the new building could start in the spring and take about two years to complete.

Shared Facilities Hub at West Cambridge campus
Shared Facilities Hub at West Cambridge campus

An ‘important new landmark facility’ at the heart of the West Cambridge campus is being proposed in the shape of a ‘shared facilities hub’.

The building will be open to students, academics and the local community, and would be a home for a diverse range of user groups. The three-storey building would have a study and teaching space, meeting rooms, dining facilities and a shop.

It would be the first building on the West Cambridge site to be open to the wider public.

The masterplan states: “The intention is to create a landmark ‘hub’ building offering a variety of attractive, flexible, quality spaces for meeting, socialising, teaching and studying to complement facilities embedded within departments and provide a significant multi-use, shared-use facility as a focal point for West Cambridge.

“The university proposes a new model for the delivery of amenities, whereby these are not provided solely internally within each academic department or commercial occupier, but wherever possible are delivered as a shared resource which can be used by all site users, including residents, as well as the general public including site neighbours.”

The building would be located on land off JJ Thomson Avenue, opposite the Maxwell Centre and next to the proposed site of the University’s Cavendish III laboratory.

Restaurants and cafés were the most requested facility to be included in the hub when plans were put to the public over the summer. A cafeteria and café/bar are planned to complement the hub’s three design themes – nourish, study and collaborate.

The masterplan, which was submitted as part of a planning application to Cambridge City Council, aims for construction to start after April next year and for the centre to be in use as soon as April 2020.

Councillors will consider the planning application and are set to make a decision before February 2018.


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