Creative Exchange

St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Commissioning an innovative and sustainable building to support creative entrepreneurs in St Neots, using growth area funding.

Huntingdonshire District Council wanted an imaginative and sustainable new building in the market town of St Neots, with workspace for start-up creative businesses, training and support services.

The council secured £700,000 in growth area funding (GAF II) from Communities and Local Government (CLG) for the project.

This funding included free support from a CABE enabler - a design professional to help them procure a well-designed building. The CABE enabler’s involvement was essential as the council’s officers had no experience of commissioning architecture.

As a result, Huntingdonshire District Council procured an innovative building that met the council’s aspirations for a high quality, sustainable building for use by new businesses, that would also act as a local exemplar. Council officers also gained valuable experience of how to commission architecture.

How the CABE enabler helped

  • defined specific objectives for the building
  • helped to write a clear and focused brief
  • provided assistance in shortlisting and selecting a design team
  • negotiated extra funding for the project.