In The News

Mixed Use

Planning approval

Press Release

Project News


4 min read

Planning approved for Grafton Centre redevelopment in Cambridge

Back to News & Insights
Paul Turner_corstorphine-wright-people-27jul21-127

By Paul Turner – 9th February 2024

Our proposals for the redevelopment of the Grafton Centre in Cambridge have been given the green light.

Cambridge City Council today granted planning approval marking a crucial step forward in the transformation of this central shopping location which has been in decline over recent years.

Initiated by Pioneer Group – a leading developer and operator of life science and high-tech campuses – The Grafton Centre will undergo a comprehensive revitalisation; a large area of the existing shopping centre will be converted into laboratory and office space for start-ups, small businesses, and established companies in the science and technology industry – a sector which is growing and needs more space across the city.

The western end of the centre will also be renovated to provide an improved experience for local shoppers. New public areas, including a public roof-top square, will ensure that the retained retail provision is higher quality to ensure its long-term success and viability.

The redevelopment will make a major contribution towards addressing an acute demand and short supply of laboratories within Cambridge, recognised as a national priority.

Key highlights of the approved redevelopment plan include:

  • Long term improvements to retail, with an anticipated £111.2 million extra economic impact on the surroundings
  • Positive environmental benefits, including +538% biodiversity net gain and 18,500 tonnes carbon savings through repurposing existing buildings
  • Up to 2,000 jobs from PhD to entry level created within the new science centre
  • Creating a sustainable research ‘ecosystem’ linking start-ups, experts and entrepreneurs in the life sciences sector
  • A new community science lab / classroom with a programme of community outreach and STEM investment
  • Architectural enhancement to the centre, creating an ‘outward looking’ building that reactivates the surrounding public realm


Cambridge City Council Town Planners welcome the scheme as a “significant opportunity” to bring “strong benefits economically, socially and environmentally” to the Grafton Centre and the centre of Cambridge.

Michael Walters_corstorphine-wright-people-27jul21-131

“We are delighted to receive planning approval for the Grafton Centre redevelopment. This project represents a significant investment in the future of Cambridge, and we are eager to bring our extensive town centre regeneration experience providing a sustainable future to current distressed assets. We are also pleased to continue our work with Pioneer Group to create desirable and flexible lab space and contribute to the city’s continued growth and development.”

Michael Walters

Group Director

Enjoyed this post?

Why not share?

Explore more of our latest News & Insights

Every project starts with a conversation.
Let’s discuss your opportunities, constraints and questions.

Contact Us

Did you mean?

Sorry, we couldn't find any results matching your search term.
Please try searching for something else.

Our Latest News and Insights

View All Latest News


10 results

View All Projects

Our People

10 results

Meet Our Team

Our People

Meet Our Team

News and Insights

3 results

Our Studios

View All Our Studios