Bids are being invited for a £1.25m contract to create a new Civic Quarter for Cambridge.

The city council is seeking a development consultancy consortium to lead on what it calls a ‘once-in-a-century opportunity’ to reimagine Cambridge’s Market Square, Guildhall, and Corn Exchange.

It involves improvements to two council-owned buildings, Market Square and the public realm that links them.

It aims to:

  • Create a focal point in the centre of Cambridge
  • Encourage people to spend more time in the area
  • Build on the vision to make the Market Square better used
  • Modernise the Corn Exchange
  • Conserve the Grade II-listed Guildhall as a zero-carbon building while adding working spaces for the council and business occupiers

The successful consortium will be required to produce commercial proposals and corresponding RIBA stage 2 design that meets the council’s core objectives for the project.

The deadline for tender submissions is March 21, with contract starting around April.

Cllr Simon Smith, executive councillor for finance and resources, said: “There is cross-party support to bring forward proposals and business cases for the Guildhall, Market Square and Corn Exchange to create a more attractive and vibrant heart to the city.

“We are right at the start of this process, with no pre-conceived vision for the end result. So it’s vital we find the best of the best consultancy teams to lead this work for the city and ensure the voices of local people are heard and reflected in the design of the Civic Quarter.”


Image (Google) shows the Corn Exchange to the right and rear of the Guildhall to the left. The Market Square is at the front of the Guildhall.

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