The Beehive is for everyone

The Beehive Centre redevelopment is one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK right now. It will be a new part of Cambridge and a community for future generations. This is a rare and exciting opportunity and we have been working hard to make sure that everyone benefits from the investment planned.


iGlu Powered by Cambs Youth Panel

The iGlu has been designed by the Cambs Youth Panel to create an indoor and outdoor space that is ideal for young people. It will be managed by Cambs Youth Panel and open to all young people, offering somewhere to meet friends, where they can relax and get advice and support in a safe place.


The 'Makers Lab' Powered by Cambridge Science Centre

The 'Makers Lab' at the Beehive Centre will be an energetic hub of activity throughout the day. It will serve as an exceptional and distinctive STEM educational resource nestled in the heart of the vibrant Beehive Centre community.

Setting itself apart from conventional educational centres, the 'Makers Lab' offers open-ended, hands-on learning experiences that will go beyond traditional workshops. Cambridge Science Centre’s committed team of ‘Makers’ will guide and facilitate all activities, ensuring a truly unique and engaging educational journey.


A day in the life of a Maker


The first of the day’s school groups arrive. They take seats at the making tables and are briefed by the ‘Maker’.

Today they will be creating solar-powered gadgets from reclaimed materials. They will stay until 1200 at which point the second and final school of the day arrives for their session.

Youth members of the Makers Lab arrive after school to work with our staff on their ongoing projects.

One is working on an automated coffee machine that she will be submitting for her A Level in Design Technology. Another is creating an ethical mousetrap to use in their garage.

The evening event starts. Adults working across the Beehive and wider Cambridge arrive to listen to a speaker demonstrating the potential of AI in the creation of contemporary art.

An enjoyable discussion is helped along with drinks from the temporary bar.


Skate the Streets
Powered by Cam Skate

Skateboarding is a growing sport and Cambridge is home to the 2019 and 2022 UK Street Skateboarding Champion. We are working with Cam Skate to co-design skateable streets and skateable furniture within the Beehive Centre, to support skaters of all abilities build confidence and raise the profile of skating in the city.

Following a workshop with Cam Skate centred around the provision of skateable space within the Masterplan, a hierarchy of skateable landscape areas and features has been developed to suit a full range of ages and abilities.


Inclusive Open Space Powered by Make Space for Girls

Make Space for Girls is helping plan the open space across the development to ensure it is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.

The Make Space for Girls team is working with a group of local young girls and women to investigate their experience in the local area and to inform the youth strategy and open space strategy for the Beehive Centre.


Accessible, safe
and welcoming to all

Railpen have created focus groups with Red2Green to provide ideas on how to make the site more accessible for neurodiverse people. Red2Green are a Cambridgeshire charity and day opportunities provider for young adults and adults with learning disabilities and autism.


Community pavilion

The Community Pavilion will offer a range of programmes and activities for all ages. You have told us that the space should be affordable and bring people together to help, learn, exchange skills and fix/make things.

The space itself will be extremely flexible with space for 150 people seated. We know the space will need to be actively managed and a community manager will be appointed to arrange a programme of regular and one-off events like:

  • Coding clubs
  • An under 5’s drop-in
  • Homework support clubs
  • Art and craft classes
  • Tai Chi, line dancing, and yoga
  • A repair café

The Community Pavilion will also be available for hire with discounted rates for local residents and community groups.


Something for everyone on any budget

The Beehive Centre feels isolated from adjacent residential neighbourhoods and there are few opportunities to bring people from different backgrounds together. We are working with local organisations to change this by creating something unique for everyone – to cater for all budgets.

We will create a new seven-day-a-week destination for the local community with a new and exciting selection of shops, restaurants, cafés and services that will cater for local residents and people working on the site.

We have partnered with Indie Cambridge (a membership organisation for independent businesses in Cambridge) to prioritise local retailers and service providers that will add to the vibrancy of the area - and we will introduce discounted rents to support smaller retailers and service providers.


A welcoming place for nature

We have the great privilege through the Beehive redevelopment to create a new part of Cambridge from what is currently a car-dominated space with over 50% of the site hardstanding.

We will increase biodiversity on site by 100%; planting 200 new trees -  including Oakes and Maples with an ultimate height of 12 meters - and introducing new native plants with wildflowers, fruit trees and native scrub. Central to the plans is the Beehive Greenway: this will act as a single continuous landscape through the site, connected via a network of vibrant streets creating a range of different spaces and places for people to meet and spend time.


The scheme will increase the amount of local green space with:

350m long

Central urban and green space

The Beehive Greenway


Community garden

Named Vera’s Garden

1.1 hectares

Soft landscaping

Within 2.9 hectare of public realm


Wetland habitat

A similar size to Cambridge’s Market Square

Inclusive Open Space Powered by Make Space for Girls

Make Space for Girls is helping plan the open space across the development to ensure it is a welcoming and inclusive place for all. The Make Space for Girls team is working with a group of local young girls and women to investigate their experience in the local area and to inform the youth strategy and open space strategy for the Beehive Centre.

Accessible, safe and welcoming to all

Railpen is working with Red2Green to provide ideas on how to make the site more accessible for neurodiverse people. Red2Green are a Cambridgeshire charity and day opportunities provider for young adults and adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Landscape Character Areas

Vera's Garden

Vera's Garden

Garden Square

Garden Square

Hive Lane

Hive Lane

Creative Exchange

Creative Exchange

Abbey Walk

Abbey Walk


Living roofs and living walls

Through technical design we are exploring the possibilities for the inclusion of living roofs on all the terraces below roof level and the inclusion of living walls in locations where they will thrive and require minimal water use - for example, ground-planted plants that will climb up a building over a fully-irrigated green wall.


A place for new ideas

We think the Beehive Centre can be a powerhouse of creativity and innovation in the heart of Cambridge, where the technologies and medicines of tomorrow are developed by dynamic start-ups and larger established businesses.

Life Science and innovation businesses do not exist in isolation and a new generation of researchers and scientists is emerging, who wish to work in city centre locations and be surrounded by places offering a range of things to eat, see and do.

Affordable office space

We will provide up to 4,000 sq. ft. of affordable office accommodation at 80% below market rent. Each building will also be designed to be flexible so that a company could take part of a floor, a whole floor, or multiple floors.

What kinds of science would take place here?

The Beehive Centre redevelopment will support the ambitious growth of new and existing science and technology occupiers, from growth companies developing new treatments for disease to start-ups at the forefront of global technological innovation.

There will be no animal testing and no dangerous activities on site.

Creating a sense of place

A vibrant new part of Cambridge

Our approach to place can be simply defined as a desire to bring as much joy and opportunity as possible to everyday life. Each area of the Beehive Centre redevelopment will contribute to a sense of belonging, which we hope will create a popular destination for locals and visitors from further afield.

Abbey Walk

Abbey Walk will be the arrival space if you are coming via Coldham’s Lane. For some, this will be a space to pass through on the way to work or other destinations within the Beehive Centre. For others it will be a destination space with a mix of shops, services and open spaces to meet up.

There will be 55 new trees within this space alone. These trees will play an important role in filtering out the bustle of Coldham's Lane, to create calm spaces at the earliest possible point along the journey into the Beehive Centre.

The tree planting around the Abbey Walk area will also improve the environment of Coldham’s Lane, providing much needed greenery to a space currently dominated by roads and hard paving.

The Creative Exchange

The Creative Exchange will be the heart of the Beehive Centre redevelopment, where five streets meet at a new public square surrounded by shops and opportunities for alfresco dining. To the south will be the Community Pavilion which will host an everchanging programme of events to bring the local community together.

The streets leading to the Creative Exchange will be extensively landscaped with planters, trees, rain gardens and areas of seating, creating a sense of place that is welcoming, safe, convenient and engaging.

Garden Square (North)

The northern portion of Garden Square sits to the south of the Community Pavilion and is a flexible space that will be ideal for a range of activities and events. This area of Garden Square will host a wide variety of events that will appeal to all ages and interests, from markets, food festivals and outdoor cinema nights to table tennis tournaments, exercise classes and other community events.

The Garden Square will host the relocated bus stop, making it the perfect arrival space for anyone arriving on-site by bus.

Garden Square (South)

The southern portion of Garden Square will feature a new wetland, fed only by rainwater collected on the site. It will be a place for people and wildlife, with floating walkways and vantage points to connect people with nature. Cafes and restaurants will line Garden Square, creating the perfect place to meet, chat and enjoy the wetlands.

Hive Lane

Hive Lane will connect York Street to the centre of the Beehive redevelopment. It will be a new local High Street which will have a continuous run of local shops and services to meet the everyday needs of local residents and people working on the site.

Vera’s Garden and Vera’s Way

Vera’s Garden will be the entry point for people arriving from Sleaford Street. The existing Vera’s Way footpath, which is named after a local resident who used the route to shop for her elderly neighbours, will be improved. A public garden with edible planting, fruit and vegetable beds will be introduced, with a series of winding routes through the garden connecting with areas of seating.

Connectivity & transport

Reducing congestion. Prioritising cycling and walking.

We will transform the site into one that is focused on people and place, with reduced car dominance, improved air quality and significantly enhanced provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

Today, the Beehive Centre generates significant congestion locally, with over 10,000 cars accessing the site daily during the week with this increasing to 12,000 at weekends. In the future, private car use will be limited to essential use only for those who need it, with an increase in people cycling, walking and using public transport. The result would be much less traffic on surrounding streets with only 550 car trips per day to the site expected during the week and 250 at weekends.

Changes in travel choices


Investing in cycling and walking

Local cycle parking standards have been surpassed, with over 4,200 cycle parking spaces which will be located within the different buildings and separate cycle barns. Each building will include showers, changing facilities and lockers and additional short-stay visitor cycle parking will be available across the site, with a staffed cycle hub provided to assist with bike maintenance.

Additionally, we will make a provision or contribute financially towards cycle infrastructure in the area which will ensure that the site will be easily accessible from different key locations such as the train station, Cambridge North, the City centre etc.


Investing in public transport

We will deliver a significant investment into improving local public transport with an additional 15 buses per hour. This will include an increase in frequency to the Newmarket Park & Ride, with a service extension to the train station, a new service to Milton Park & Ride, as well as new direct services to Cambourne and St Neots, Huntington and St Ives, Ely and Waterbeach.


Offsite infrastructure improvements

We will invest in cycle and pedestrian improvements, including connections towards the train station and along Coldham's Lane and support the Council lead scheme of Newmarket Road improvements. The site access roundabout will also be improved to make it safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.


Car parking

The number of parking spaces on site will be reduced in order to ensure sustainable travel and introduce more green spaces. 460 car parking spaces will be re-provided with 428 of these in a multi-storey car park. A third of the car parking spaces will be provided with rapid EV charges and the infrastructure put in place to transform the remaining spaces in the future to meet demand.

A car park management strategy will be in place on site to ensure car parking spaces are used efficiently and to prioritise people with limited mobility. It will also ensure that a safe, secure environment is maintained and that parking requirements on the site do not negatively impact on local on-street parking.



All delivery and servicing for the development will continue to take place on-site. The existing service yard along the eastern boundary of the site will be retained but no longer extend to border Sleaford Street.

The service yard will directly serve adjacent buildings, while buildings in the southwest will be serviced from loading bays along the internal road network.

Heavy goods vehicles will be restricted from accessing the one-way loop to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety. Deliveries by larger vehicles will unload within the service area, and goods will be transferred to smaller on-site electric vehicles for distribution, minimising interaction between heavy goods vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists.

Design evolution

How have we shaped the scheme?

We have worked with the city council and local community to test ideas and develop the Beehive Centre redevelopment for the last two-years. As the plans below show, the Masterplan has changed over time to respond to its immediate context and the wider city skyline.

Two years of consultation

What's changed?

All through the design process the team has tested its ideas against four key principles:

A three-storey residential boundary

The closest buildings to residential boundaries will be restricted to three storeys, with any taller elements set away from the boundary. In two locations, this principle has been relaxed to allow four storeys due to increased distance between new and existing buildings.

Centering of mass

We have moved taller buildings towards the centre of the site to lessen the impact on immediate to intermediate distance local views and to allow lower building elements to sit alongside residential boundaries.

A varied skyline

We will create a varied skyline through a series of buildings which will gently rise and fall along the length of the railway. This brings particular benefit to views from Coldham’s Common and Castle Hill Mound.

Distinct taller areas

Feedback received during the public consultation process indicated that it is important to make sure the development did not appear as a single mass on the skyline. In response, the Masterplan has taller buildings in two locations, separated by a stretch of lower buildings to create a skyline with distinct features amongst lower buildings.