Topping Out at Brooklands
20 Jul 2023
The Peterhouse Technology Park has formed a core part of Cambridge’s science and technology community since its establishment. Situated to the southeast of Cambridge city centre, the park is close to the railway station and major motorways and is included in the city’s bus routes, making it ideally located for company headquarters. Indeed, technology company ARM recently constructed a new HQ building on the park and have leased the surrounding buildings for the next decade.
The Peterhouse Technology Park has recently been acquired by British Land, a leading UK property company with a growing focus on life sciences, innovation and technology. Peterhouse poses an ideal location for a new lab-enabled office development within the golden triangle and therefore compliments British Land’s strategy to leverage their campus model expertise outside London.
Once complete, the development, named ‘The Optic’ will provide 95,000 sq ft of flexible workspace and state-of-the-art laboratories, adjacent to the recently completed ARM HQ building. Fully fitted atriums and cores will be provided alongside office spaces fitout to CAT A. The areas surrounding the building will be landscaped with feature block paving.
To commemorate the start of the western expansion project a ground-breaking event was held at the Peterhouse Technology Park on 2 October 2023. Members of the client and consultant teams gathered on site to mark the occasion with the event commencing with drinks and a BBQ lunch.
Lynn Summerfield, Project Director at British Land, greeted spectators with a warm welcome, setting the tone for the event and expressing her excitement about the project’s prospects. Lynn noted, ‘It’s a particularly special project for us, we’ve been working really hard to build our relationships in Cambridge for the last two years and are particularly excited about continuing to build and develop those looking forward. British Land are committed to innovation and life science portfolio so it’s fantastic to get our first development opportunity here in Cambridge.’
Joining Lynn on stage was Councillor Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure at Cambridge City Council, who expressed the importance of this project in the placemaking and creating spaces for people, and Ian Wright, Senior Bursar from Peterhouse, who told a history of the technology park and its expansion across the years.
SDC’s Director overseeing the project, Carl Bennett, also addressed the gathering. Carl emphasised the SDC team's dedication and commitment to delivering excellence, and commented on the occasion, ‘We’re extremely proud to commemorate the commencement of another new project, cementing and building on our existing relationships with many of the companies here today, but also marking the reality of new relationships with both British Land and Peterhouse.’
The highlight of the event was the ceremonial dig into the ground, with the first shovelfuls of soil turned over by Lynn Summerfield (British Land Project Director), Amber Morely (British Land Development Director), Carl Bennett (SDC Director), and Luke Norris (SDC Project Manager).
The project commenced in August 2023 and is due for completion in 2025.