Skip to main content

Former Mill Road Library - bids invited

17 August 2022

Bids are being encouraged for the former Mill Road Library in Cambridge - a building with huge character dating back to the 19th Century recently renovated by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The bidding process is open to both community and commercial bidders and the county council wants to encourage as much interest as possible, to secure the best future for what is an historic building at an important location in Cambridge.

The council will also consider offers which deliver environmental and social outcomes. Community groups have a six week period to advise of their intention to bid and to start preparing their applications.

The council recently spent nearly £500,000 revamping the Grade II listed building which included works to replace gutters, stop damp penetration and repairs to stonework, brickwork and windows.

The quality of the redesign resulted in architects Donald Insall Associates on behalf of the county council receiving a Commendation at the first Greater Cambridge Design and Construction awards event.

The Hill Group, which is building properties at the nearby former city council depot, currently lease the building until October. The former library, which is registered as an Asset of Community Value and has three public car parking spaces directly outside the entrance, was built in 1892 and opened to residents five years later.

It transferred to the county council in 1974 but closed in 1996.

For two years it was used as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness before a lease was agreed with the Indian Community and Cultural Association, which ended in 2019.

The county council then obtained listed building consent in order to repair the property. It also handed over ornate stonework relating to the Hindu shrine which was installed by the previous tenants to the Mill Road Trader’s Association.

Jane Webster, principal urban surveyor at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "The Mill Road library building occupies a large space in a busy central area of Cambridge next to the newly opened Ironworks housing development.

"It's a unique building which people will have to see to appreciate, including attractive red brick façade highlighted by the recent refurbishment. Large windows and high roof space give a light and airy feel to the building.

"The building has real character with massive potential, making this a unique opportunity for the right buyer."

County councillor for the Petersfield division Richard Howitt, in which the building is located, added: “This is an exciting opportunity to find the best use for what is an iconic building with a revered history.

“I am delighted that the county council is promoting the opportunity for continued community use of the building alongside more commercial offers and thank PACT and Cambridge City Council colleagues for assisting community bids to come forward.”

Anyone interested in finding out more information should contact agents Myles at Gerald Eve either by calling 07385 933 680 or emailing

Assistance can be provided in preparing community bids and making the necessary notification by emailing

More information on the premises can be found at: