CB1 – the new city quarter for Cambridge


9 April 2020

Cambridge offices picked by global giants fighting Covid-19

CB1 has grown into a community of ‘knowledge-intensive’ businesses, many of which are now among the global companies working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Cambridge has seen a rapidly growing community of top employers – including global brands – moving in, expanding or upgrading their premises, as demand for office space in Cambridge in 2019 was well above the city’s ten-average.

Life science and tech sectors were responsible for over 81% of Cambridge office letting activity in the last year, according to new research from local property agent Bidwells, with many of these innovative companies choosing to locate at CB1.

Among those at CB1 are Amazon and Microsoft, which are now working alongside Palantir to collect research via the NHS’s 111 telephone service to ‘help predict where ventilators, hospital beds, and medical staff will be most in need’. These systems rely on cloud-based software in order to store and show how data and artificial intelligence can be used to identify and provide systems to help the wider community.

Additionally, as swathes of businesses have begun remote working, Microsoft Teams – software which allows online collaboration and communication – has seen an exponential increase in users over the past few weeks, with over 900 million meeting and calling minutes logged per day.

New offices within the CB1 Estate were among the most significant lettings in the city in 2019. These include 30 Station Road, a new office building on the way, which a major tech company will occupy in its entirety, in a move that expands the growing “footprint” of the tech sector in Cambridge significantly.

Nearby 50/60 Station Road, which completed last year, is fully let to a host of leading employers, including Amazon and Samsung. This follows a series of lettings to high calibre companies that has seen CB1 develop into a thriving Central Business District for Cambridge and growing hub for AI research.

Max Bryan, Head of Laboratory and Office Agency at Bidwells, said companies in Cambridge were “focusing on securing their long-term place in Cambridge’s world class science and tech cluster.”

Tech and research companies are essential to the CB1 Estate’s development as a major hub for innovation and AI. Bryan added: “Corporates are securing space near the station and scaling-up science and tech occupiers coming out of the University are racing for the best space available.”


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