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Cambridge City Council

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Cambridge Market Square project

Cambridge market square

As owners of the market square and its seven-day-a-week market, we are proposing a multi-million-pound project to transform the design, appearance and day, evening and night time use of this key city centre space, whilst being sensitive to its rich heritage value; and safeguarding the future of its daily local market. 

The aim of this project is to have a market square which meets the needs of Cambridge residents and renovates and improves the associated physical infrastructure, making the space a more inclusive, attractive and vibrant place in which to trade, shop and visit, both during the day and the evening and night. 

We started this project by identifying and assessing the design and management issues of the market square and its daily market use – read more about the feasibility assessment below.

We then reviewed the results of this assessment, together with the input of technical specialists and community stakeholders, including market traders, to create a proposed Vision and Concept Design for the square – read more about the concept design and public consultation below.

Stage 1: Feasibility assessment

We completed the feasibility assessment stage of the project in 2019 with the publication of the following report and summary:

In early 2020, we held a series of workshops with a range of community stakeholders, including market traders, to help inform the next stage of the project (Concept Design). The results of these meetings are available to read:

Stage 2: Concept design

Our proposed Vision and Concept Design for the project were approved for public consultation at the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee meeting in March 2021.

The proposed design improvements include creating a wide central seating area within the outdoor market, upgrading the market infrastructure and improving the flexibility of the space, through having robust demountable stalls, so that the square can be used for community activities in the evening and night. 

The proposed Vision and Concept Design provides a high-level outline of how we feel the market square should be renovated and improved. Before we go any further with our planning, we want to find out what you think of our proposals and how well they meet your needs, and any suggestions you may have on how the square should be improved. A separate consultation process is being organised with market traders over the summer period to trial the new demountable stall designs.

To have your say on our proposed Vision and Concept Design for the square, please complete the online survey.

Cambridge Market Square project survey

We will consider all comments received during the consultation process, although we cannot respond to them individually.The consultation is open until 7 July 2021.

The results, including those from the demountable market stall trials, together with any recommended changes to the proposed Vision and Concept Design, will be considered by our Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in October 2021.

Stage 3: Detailed design

Subject to securing committee approval of the proposed Vision and Concept Design in October 2021, work on the detailed design will start in the winter of 2021.

The assessment of any detailed design proposals and resulting planning application for Market Square will consider the impact the proposals might have on listed buildings. It will also consider their potential impact on the character and appearance of the Historic Core Conservation Area, which includes Market Square. The Historic Core Conservation Area Appraisal will inform any detailed design assessment.

We will not make any decision on surfacing treatments until the project has reached the detailed design stage.

We will provide further opportunities for community stakeholder engagement, including a formal and public consultation, as part of this phase of the project.

Stages 4 and 5: Planning and implementation

The planning and implementation stages of the project will be planned following agreement of the concept design. Subject to securing the required planning consents and the capital funding, the proposed timetable for completing the Market Square Project is spring 2023.