Since 2013 we have been campaigning for improvements to the Market Square in Cambridge. 

Market Square Placecheck

In 2013, a group of volunteers met to identify what they liked, disliked and thought could be improved about the Market Square. Taking a scientific approach to documenting their thoughts the group used Placecheck English Heritage, a web-based tool developed by English Heritage, designed to enable communities to articulate what it is about their local area they want preserved or changed.

The process reminded the team what they love about the square – a vibrant and rewarding place to linger. But they were also struck by how much better it could become in terms of its contribution to the daytime and night-time economies, and in its aesthetic appeal. It was also clear that basic improvements were needed for market traders.

Campaigning for Improvements

There has been talk of improving the Market Square for 30 years but no action seems to take place in the face of the challenges of such a project.

Our team working on this project have begun to formulate a vision for the area, which would allow for uninterrupted use of the Square by market traders, and allow at least some stalls to be folded away – opening up the space for other uses when there are no traders - such as music, theatre, street dining, outdoor cinema and public events.

Market traders, city councillors, local businesses, landscape architects and the local press have joined the public discussion and there seems to be a desire to try and do something.

We have been in discussions and working with the Judge Business School, Freeland Rees Roberts Architects and the City Council, amongst others, to increase awareness and garner support for the project.

A lot of work has been done so far and we would like to thank our volunteers Helen Bradbury and Peter Landshoff in particular.

In 2017 we had our first breakthrough when the City Council earmarked funds to be spent looking at options for improving the Market Square and how to overcome some of the challenges.

In 2018 this became part of the "People and Spaces" Project being taken forward by the City Council and to which we are a stakeholder.