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Cambridge City Council

Full house for first public meeting to help shape a bright future for Abbey ward

18 March 2024

Local residents and organisations came together last week for the first of a regular series of public events to help shape an exciting future for Abbey ward in Cambridge.

With more than £100 million proposed to be invested in Abbey in the years ahead, in order to create new homes and community facilities alongside wider development for the ward, the meeting marked a fresh start for a more collaborative approach to ensuring local residents’ views are fully heard.

More than 65 people attended the inaugural ‘Shaping Abbey’ event at Christ the Redeemer Church, Newmarket Road on Wednesday 13 March.

During the event local people had the chance to find out the latest news on the emerging plans for the ward, before taking part in group discussions to provide their feedback alongside city councillors, council officers, other public bodies and representatives from a range of different local organisations including Abbey People, Cambridge Sustainable Food, Cambridge United FC and local churches.

Among the plans for the ward, which were discussed by those attending the Shaping Abbey session, are:

  • The transformative new East Barnwell centre at the heart of the ward featuring 120 modern, sustainable council homes, a new community centre and library, pre-school, new commercial units and improved public green spaces
  • Emerging proposals for the redevelopment of ageing properties at the Ekin Road estate to provide modern, energy-efficient new homes, including much needed three- and four-bedroom family homes
  • The ‘Focus on Abbey’ programme, which has more than £120,000 of funding earmarked for locally-focused community projects
  • Community-led projects to improve people’s health, education and career prospects, and give people better access to healthy, affordable food that is sustainably produced
  • Further investment in sports and leisure facilities including at the Abbey Leisure Complex

Cllr Mike Davey, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “I was very pleased to see so many people taking the time to attend our first public event to help shape an exciting future for Abbey ward. Our aim is to make sure that everyone who lives in Abbey or who is involved with life here, feels they are being listened to, and are an integral part of helping shape an exciting future for the ward.

“This regular open forum is just one of the ways people can share their ideas and aspirations, let us know about any concerns they have or suggestions for improvements, and play a really active part in everything that will be happening here in the coming years.”

Nicky Shepard, CEO of Abbey People, said: “It was heartening to see so many people turn out for the Shaping Abbey meeting.

“The community in Abbey has been on a long journey around potential developments in the area already, and we are pleased to see that Cambridge City Council are committed to a more community-focused way of working in the area. We look forward to working together with the council to help community voices be at the heart of the work in our area.”


The next ‘Shaping Abbey’ public event is scheduled to take place this June, and will take place every three months.