Skanska UK and Morgan Sindall Construction have been announced as main contractors for Railpen’s first two major developments in Cambridge.

Skanska has secured the pre-construction phase of the £200 million contract to build the 540,000 sq ft Botanic Place office development (pictured below) while Morgan Sindall will the tier one construction contractor to build 120,000 sq ft mixed-use Devonshire Gardens (pictured above), in a £77m contract.

Both projects are being developed by Socius on behalf of Railpen.

Botanic Place is designed to be the most sustainable speculative office scheme outside London.  Architect AHMM has designed the buildings to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and WELL and WiredScore Platinum ratings. 

The workspaces will prioritise energy efficiency to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer while using 70 per cent less energy than traditional office buildings, all powered by renewable energy.

It will have 15,000 sq ft of internal amenities, events, and F&B space, alongside 40,000 sq ft of terraces on multiple levels for both private and communal uses.

The project will also involve preserving the historic public house, The Flying Pig, which is within the development site.

Mixed-use Devonshire Gardens will comprise a new community connected by a landscaped park, supporting Railpen’s vision to create a majority car-free neighbourhood. It will include up to 150,000 sq ft of commercial space, 70 apartments, 8,500 sq ft of F&B space, and 1.55 acres of public open spaces.

Richard Van Lente, senior asset and development manager for Railpen, said: “The appointment of both Skanska UK and Morgan Sindall marks a significant moment within our Cambridge portfolio as we work to deliver best-in-class assets and generate strong long-term returns for our members. We look forward to witnessing these projects come to fruition and continuing our long-lasting commitment to Cambridge with support from the council and key local stakeholders.”

Doug Higgins, development director for Socius, said: “Botanic Place and Devonshire Gardens will be fantastic additions to the community of Cambridge, with Skanska and Morgan Sindall driving forward our shared vision with Railpen to deliver inspiring, sustainable and valuable assets for the city. With their expertise and proficiency, we are on track to provide a new benchmark for other developers and investors to follow, paving the way for an enhanced future within Cambridge and the wider area.”

Morgan Sindall is set to begin work on Devonshire Gardens in April while Skanska is due to start on-site at Botanic Place in July, with estimated completion dates of April 2026 and March 2027 respectively.

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