First Base and RPMI Railpen to deliver £155 million mixed use neighbourhood in Cambridge city centre

Developer First Base and RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the £30 billion railways pension scheme, have entered into a contract to acquire a 3-acre site in Cambridge city centre for a new 250,000 sq ft mixed-use neighbourhood. The site, which is currently utilised as a Travis Perkins depot, is located five minutes’ walk from Cambridge station in the heart of the city.

First Base and Railpen are working with local stakeholders to develop plans for a modern mixed-use quarter comprising workspace, Build-to-Rent apartments, and leisure and community spaces set around new public gardens. The car-free development will include a dedicated cycle hub, and will create new pedestrian and cycle routes linking the campus to Cambridge station.

First Base is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its projects and the scheme will be delivered in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and support Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy.

Travis Perkins will be relocating to a new state-of-the-art branch in Cambridge, providing an enhanced offering to its customers. First Base and Railpen have acquired the site for an undisclosed sum.

Barry Jessup, Director at First Base, said:

“This is a rare development opportunity in the heart of Cambridge, one of the UK’s most dynamic and cutting-edge cities.

“Our vision is to create a permeable mixed-use neighbourhood set within new public green spaces, opening up new pedestrian and cycle routes in the city centre.

“We look forward to working with our partners, local stakeholders and the Council to develop our plans.”

Richard van Lente, Senior Asset & Development Manager at Railpen, said:

“Joining our existing portfolio in Cambridge, this acquisition is one which allows us to further Railpen’s significant investment into the future of the city.

“While providing high quality public realm for the community, the mixed-use scheme will also hold strong environmental and sustainable credentials which seamlessly align with our investment values.

“Working closely with First Base and local stakeholders, we are pleased to play a role in driving this long-term vision forward.”

Planning is expected to be submitted by mid-2021.