Local community contributes ideas for evolution of former Flying Pig pub

March 18, 2023

Railpen, investment manager for the railways pension schemes, and sustainable development partner Socius, hosted workshops for members of the local community to co-create a future vision for a new public house, located in the building previously occupied by the Flying Pig.

Following the pub’s closure in 2021, the site of the Flying Pig was purchased by Railpen in September 2022 as part of consented plans for the new Botanic Place development on Hills Road. The history of the pub dates back 177 years and the original building, which faces directly onto Hills Road, will be preserved and the facilities upgraded. The team plans for the historic venue to evolve into a vibrant new destination, designed with the community.

Fifty people, including Cambridge residents, businesses and other stakeholders, attended the workshops on 3rd March, which were facilitated by social enterprise, Cambridge Imagination. Ideas and suggestions captured through the workshops will be incorporated into the design for the venue.

In preparation for evolution of the site, works are beginning to empty the existing building and prepare it for its sympathetic restoration and its new lease of life.

Heather Thomas, Founder and CEO of Cambridge Imagination said: “People in Cambridge care deeply about our City.  When community comes together, as it did for these workshops, it demonstrates the power of our collective creativity.  It is clear that the people who gathered want to ensure this historic space continues to be a place for community connection and expression in the future.”

Plans for the rest of the Botanic Place site, which has planning permission and is adjacent to Cambridge Botanic Gardens, will include a new £500m, 500,000 sq ft workspace scheme, set to become the most sustainable and intelligent workspace in Cambridge.

Doug Higgins, Development Director, Socius said: “Gathering the community together to discuss the future of community space at Botanic Place was a valuable first step. I would like to extend my thanks to all those who attended these workshops and have taken the time to meet to share their thoughts with us, it will be important in shaping our plans.”

Richard Van Lente, Senior Asset and Development Manager at Railpen, said “Workshops like this are an invaluable way for us to work closely with the local community, to understand what is most important and listen to ideas. The Flying Pig is significant to the community and has a long heritage, which we shall respectfully conserve, whilst giving the venue a new lease of life.”

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