Council says farewell to Mill Road depot after more than a century

News release from 11 July 2018, 9:05am

CAMBRIDGE City Council has departed from the Mill Road depot after more than 100 years on the site.

The council has moved services from the depot to a new, modern facility at Cowley Road in the north of the city, ahead of the site being redeveloped as housing, with 50% of the homes being built to be new council homes.

The Cambridge Corporation, as it was then known, first bought the three and a half acres of land behind Mill Road Library in 1905 to use as a store yard.

Before this, the site had been home to a number of industrial activities, including an iron foundry called the Eagle Foundry, where the only locomotive ever to be built in Cambridge was made.

Once the Corporation moved in, the depot was used to store all the materials, equipment, vehicles and, for many years, horses which were needed to keep Cambridge clean and running smoothly.

Over most of the 100-plus years since first purchasing the depot, it has continued to be the place from which much of the council's frontline work, such as emptying bins and cleaning streets and parks, has been carried out.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “This marks the end of one era and the start of another for the council and for the Mill Road site.

“While many people will be sad to see the council move out from this historic site, the move means we can modernise the way we provide vital frontline services for residents, and redevelop it to provide much-needed homes including new council houses.”

Work has now begun to transform the site into much-needed new homes and community facilities. 187 new homes are due to be built there, with 50% of them (94 homes) to be new social rented council homes, and the potential for further investment by the council in around 20 additional homes for rental at sub-market rents.