The Sites & Surroundings

This consultation covers three buildings in the city centre of Cambridge. The buildings and spaces are all very different.


Individually they are likely to be hard to redevelop or improve due to numerous constraints. However, the owners have recognised that if they work together some of the constraints will be alleviated and their sites’ potential will be greater. Additionally, a combined redevelopment has the potential to offer more numerous and more significant benefits.


One such example is the greater scope for improvement of Hobson’s Passage.

Aerial view of 18-19 Sidney Street
Aerial View of 21 Hobson Street, Cambridge

16-17 Sidney Street

This building is currently occupied by a restaurant chain and extends back, via a ‘dog-leg’ arrangement to Hobson Street. Its Sidney Street façade is attractive and in relatively good condition. In contrast, its Hobson Street frontage comprises a small service yard and muddled, low-rise built form.

Sidney Street, Cambridge

18-19 Sidney Street

18-19 Sidney Street comprises the premises occupied by Heffers until the turn of the century. It was more recently occupied by Jack Wills and is now occupied by another clothing retailer. The northern boundary of 18-19 Sidney Street meets Hobson’s Passage, a narrow pathway through to Hobson Street.

18-19 Sidney Street, Cambridge

21 Hobson Street

21 Hobson Street comprises the former Gala Bingo hall, originally built in the 1930s as the Central Cinema. The cinema closed in 1972 and operated as a bingo hall until 2009 but has been unoccupied since.

Art Deco Cinema Facade

Hobson's Passage

Hobson’s Passage is a narrow passageway connecting Sidney Street to Hobson Street that doubles, unofficially, as a commercial bin store. It is gloomy and often dirty and, as a result, is generally unwelcoming.

Hobson's Passage, Cambridge


Check out the options our project team has produced for the three sites. You can explore these through the options appraisal page.