On the 15th and 16th September Barker Storey Matthews hosted a PAI (Property Agents Independent) trip to Cambridge. Each year, member firms of PAI host fellow members within their operating city and region combining networking events and tours of the areas commercial sectors.

PAI is a network organisation of commercial surveying practices across the UK. It allows PAI members to offer its clients a truly national coverage allowing member firms to share market information with a network larger than any one single firm currently trading in the UK. 

The Cambridge visit took in some of the major commercial development projects underway in the area including Alconbury Weald, CB1, and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Alconbury Weald is one of the country’s largest brownfield regeneration projects covering an area of 1,420 acres on the site of a former RAF base. Being developed by Urban & Civic (U&C), Alconbury Weald will provide 3,000,000 sq ft of employment space, 5,000 new homes and 700 acres of open green space. PAI members were given a presentation in the Incubator followed by a tour of the site, including a trip down a cold war nuclear bunker! Barker Storey Matthews is advising U&C with recent signings from occupiers including MM UK (300,000 sq ft) and IKO (360,000 sq ft), and with terms agreed with John Adam Toys (143,000 sq ft).

In contrast to Alconbury, PAI members were taken on a tour of the exciting urban mixed use development underway around Cambridge’s train station known as CB1. After a presentation by developer Brookgate, members walked around the latest office development called One The Square which comprises 129,000 sq ft and has set a record rent in Cambridge of £36 per sq ft, plus the newly opened cycle park, which, with 3,000 spaces is the UK’s largest!

Finally, a tour of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus was arranged. This huge development situated adjacent to Addenbrookes Hospital is set to become one of the leading biomedical centres in the world by 2020, combing world-class biomedical research, patient care and education on a single site. Members were able to see construction underway on AstraZeneca’s new European HQ totaling 870,000 sq ft, as well as the new Papworth Hospital at 348,000 sq ft.

PAI members were reported to have found their trip to Cambridge extremely interesting and informative and were staggered by the sheer scale of investment and development currently underway in the region. They certainly came away realising why the city is currently being called ‘Cranebridge’!