No 'modern monstrosity' for new city civic quarter

Plant stall on Cambridge market, with buildings of various colours in the background
Cambridge City Council wants people to spend longer in the Market Square and other buildings [LDRS]

Plans to regenerate Cambridge city centre would not see the area turned into a "modern monstrosity", those working on the project said.

Cambridge City Council announced plans to create a new Civic Quarter at the start of this year.

James Pickard, from Cartwright Pickard, said he believed the company's job was to "get the best out of the existing buildings".

There are aims to bring separate plans to upgrade the Market Square, Guildhall and Corn Exchange under one scheme.

The local authority said it wanted to attract people living in the city and visitors to spend more time in the market, Corn Exchange and city centre shops, and make it a safe, accessible and welcoming place.

The council said it also wanted to conserve and upgrade the Grade II-listed Guildhall and open it up more to the public.

The authority announced it would be setting aside £20m for the Civic Quarter project, but said in January that most of this would be spent on the Guildhall.

At a public meeting on Wednesday, residents questioned the new team about the regeneration plans.

Mr Pickard said: "At this stage of its life [the centre] needs TLC, it needs renovating."

He added it also needed "reconnecting with the people of Cambridge".

"We are not planning on putting any modern monstrosities anywhere. We do need to breathe new life into this sector and I think we have got lots of really good ideas to do that."

Glenys Self, who works on the market, said it was really important that the traders were told when and where they would be moved during any works.

A resident said she would like to see people riding e-bikes and e-scooters being asked to dismount when going through the square.

More public meetings will take place throughout the project and there will be a formal consultation later this year.

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