Cambridge’s Grafton Centre to be turned into science hub

The new owner of Cambridge’s Grafton Centre has revealed plans to transform the shopping mall and create much-needed laboratory space in the process.

Trinity Investment Management, which acquired the Grafton Centre back in August, says the shopping mall "no longer works in its current form".

Under Trinity’s plans, the number of shops for rent would be reduced to make way for life-science start-ups and new labs. While Trinity will keep some retail and leisure on the site, including the cinema and gym, it says the growing number of empty units highlights how the centre is currently not working.

Subjit Jassy, from Trinity Investment Management, said: “Following our acquisition of the Grafton Centre, we're looking forward to working closely with Cambridge City Council and local stakeholders to bring forward our plans to revitalise this part of the city over the coming months”.

Trinity added that it will look to repurpose as much of the Grafton Centre as possible to minimise disruption to its neighbours and reduce the amount of carbon-intensive demolition and construction required.

Under Trinity’s plans, the Grafton Centre’s ground floors will also see more use, as the company is looking to improve connectivity to the rest of the city for cyclists and pedestrians, restoring some of the historic connections that were blocked when the centre was built.

Ian Sandison, the CEO of Cambridge BID, responded: “It is pleasing to finally have this sale complete and the city can now begin to work with the new owners to shape The Grafton to meet our future needs.

“Clearly the high street and how we use it is changing, there is a continued high demand for good quality office and start-up space and office workers bring vital footfall to an area that supports local shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.”

Trinity Investment Management will carry out a public consultation in November, where more details about the proposals will be disclosed.

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The number of shops for rent in the Grafton Centre will be reduced to make way for life-science start-ups and new labs.

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