Railpen picks Skanska and Morgan Sindall for Cambridge schemes

CGI of Botanic Place, to be built for Railpen in Cambridge by Skanska
CGI of Botanic Place, to be built for Railpen in Cambridge by Skanska

Railpen, which manages £34bn of assets on behalf of the railways pension schemes, has named Skanska and Morgan Sindall as main contractors for the first two of its major developments in Cambridge.

The projects are Botanic Place, a 540,000 sq ft office scheme, and Devonshire Gardens, a 120,000 sq ft mixed-use development.  Both projects are being developed by Socius on behalf of Railpen.

Skanska has secured the £200m contract to build Botanic Place, which is being billed as “the most sustainable speculative office scheme outside of London”.  Architect AHMM has designed the buildings to achieve BREEAM Outstanding, WELL and Wired Scored Platinum ratings, with 70% less energy consumption than traditional office buildings and powered using renewable energy sources.

The project will involve preserving the historic public house, The Flying Pig, which is on the development site, and the creation of 15,000 sq ft of internal amenities, events, and food/beverage space, alongside 40,000 sq ft of terraces on multiple levels for both private and communal uses.

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Elsewhere in Cambridge, Railpen has also awarded Morgan Sindall a £77m contract to build Devonshire Gardens (pictured below) – a new community connected by a landscaped park off Mill Road. Morgan Sindall will deliver up to 150,000 sq ft of commercial space, 70 apartments, 8,500 sq ft of food/beverage space, and 1.5 acres of public open spaces.

Morgan Sindall is set to begin works on Devonshire Gardens in April and Skanska is due to start on-site at Botanic Place in July, with estimated completion dates of April 2026 and March 2027 respectively.

Railpen senior asset and development manager Richard Van Lente said: “The appointment of both Skanska and Morgan Sindall marks a significant moment within our Cambridge portfolio as we work to deliver best-in-class assets and generate strong long-term returns for our members. We look forward to witnessing these projects come to fruition and continuing our long-lasting commitment to Cambridge with support from the council and key local stakeholders.”

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