Cambridge’s tech hub hots up

Nick Myall
Wednesday 27 Feb 2019

The Bradfield Centre is the latest addition to Cambridge in the UK’s expanding technology cluster

Designed by Aukett Swanke, The Bradfield Centre - the first development to be built as part of a major new cycle of investment in the Cambridge Science Park - was launched recently with a spectacular party for over 600 guests.

Since it was established by Trinity College in 1970, the Science Park has achieved widespread recognition for its pivotal role in the “Cambridge Phenomenon” - the transformation of Cambridge from a market town with a world-class university to one of the hottest technology hotspots in the world. Today the 151-acre site is home to 6500 people employed in 100 businesses ranging from spin-outs from the University of Cambridge to multinational companies.

The global impact of the Park is set to grow further with the opening of the Bradfield Centre. The new Centre which benefits from the nearby Cambridge North station with direct connections to London is expected to become the gateway and focal point for Cambridge’s expanding technology cluster.

John Tweddle, Senior Partner at Bidwells, the Park’s Managing Agents, said, “The unique design of the building reflects its aims and objectives – to create and curate a collaborative, entrepreneurial community of start-ups and scale-ups working on disruptive technologies that have the potential to change the way we lead our lives”

The Centre was part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is operated on a membership basis by workspace operators Central Working on behalf of Trinity College. The Centre is the largest of Central Working’s global network of membership-based communities.

Members have access to spacious communal facilities throughout the building ranging from the Centre’s boardroom, meeting rooms and open-plan kitchens to Skype booths, breakout areas with comfortable sofas and a yoga room. Non-members, including local residents, are welcome to use the café, and anyone in the wider community can host their technology events in the 130-seater auditorium free of charge.

The aim is to attract smart, ambitious, like-minded entrepreneurs and companies both from Cambridge and beyond, co-locate them in scalable, state of-the-art facilities, immerse them in a collaborative, entrepreneurial culture, and connect them to investors, partners, mentors, advisers and potential customers.

Accelerator programmes are run on a wide range of business and technical topics. These programmes are a core component of the Bradfield Centre’s offer which is designed to help grow businesses to a large scale at pace.

Aukett Swanke was commissioned to design the Bradfield Centre in 2014. The brief was part of a wider strategy aimed at creating a new hub on the lakeside at the heart of the 61Ha (151 acre) Park. The three key objectives of the new Centre were:

  • to support and nurture, scalable, high-growth businesses in Cambridge
  • to become the natural meeting point in the Cambridge region for people interested in technology, innovation and  entrepreneurship
  • to become a gateway for Cambridge to a wider international science and technology marketplace

WAN first covered this project in February 2016

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