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Ground-breaking at new Northstowe and Longstanton Heritage Centre

20 October 2022

Work has started on a state-of-the-art modular building which will house the new Heritage Centre for Northstowe and Longstanton in Cambridgeshire – featuring finds from both major archaeological digs for Northstowe and the new A14 construction.

The ground-breaking ceremony featured representatives from Homes England, Cambridgeshire County Council, National Highways, Longstanton & District Heritage Society (LDHS), Proctor and Matthews, Iso Spaces and Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

The centre is scheduled to open in Spring 2023 and is next to the new regional offices of the site’s developer, Homes England. It will feature local collections of archaeological findings from across history, but especially those relating to RAF Oakington given most of Northstowe is built on the former air base. The project will benefit residents of Northstowe, Longstanton, Oakington & Westwick and surrounding areas and will be place to visit, meet and hold small events.

The funding for the heritage building is the result of a collaboration between National Highways Designated Funds, the A14 Legacy Fund and Homes England.

Northstowe has been a place to live for more than 10,000 years and the new facility will house finds and information from the ancient Roman town that once existed on site to the present day. It will also have collections from the Anglo-Saxon villages along the A14, evidence of woolly rhinoceros and house a flexible display area plus an outdoor space for activities and groups.


The modular building is designed by Proctor & Matthews Architects and will be constructed from shipping containers using off site sustainable methods of construction, such as innovative prefabrication techniques and passive environmental sustainability measures.

Matthew Brown, interim project director at Homes England, said: “This is an important part of the wider Northstowe development and will display a great range of extensive archaeological finds from the local area. We can’t wait to show them off!”

Councillor Firouz Thompson, local member for Longstanton, Northstowe and Over at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that work is under way on this exciting development which will benefit local communities and visitors to our area. This will also be a great resource for our local school children, and I can’t wait to see what the building looks like.”


Laura Hampshire, Senior Project Manager on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, said: “We’re delighted that the centre construction is underway. During our A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade we discovered many hidden gems dating back to the Roman Period, Anglo-Saxon era and even as far back as when the dinosaurs roamed the earth – and we can’t wait for this centre to showcase them all.”

Harrison Symonds, Associate at Proctor & Matthews, said: “We are delighted to be moving forward with this exciting project which will provide a heritage and educational facility for the emerging Northstowe and Longstanton communities. There has been a lot of interest in its progress since the plans were announced, so it is very satisfying for construction to begin.”

Group photo

Longstanton and Northstowe Heritage Centre Sponsors, Hilary Stroud of the Longstanton and District Heritage Society and Cllr Richard Owen, Mayor of Northstowe

Head

Painted white ware face flagon. Stibbington kiln, 4th Century AD. Found by Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

Anglo Saxon Brooch

Anglo Saxon Brooch found by Cambridge Archaeological Unit.