Register office move now complete

03 October 2022

Work to relocate the Cambridge base for the Registration Service is now complete, with the new site attracting positive feedback as appointments and ceremonies begin to take place there.

As part of the move of Council services and staff from the former Shire Hall site, our Registration Service team has moved from their previous Castle Lodge home to a new base – the former Roger Ascham library services building in Ascham Road, Cambridge.

The move represents the end of an era at Castle Lodge, which had been home to the service since the 1970s, and the start of a whole new one. Customer Appointment (registering births, deaths and taking legal notices for marriage / civil partnership) and Support staff moved to the new location in late September, and the first five ceremonies took place on Saturday October 1st (a date chosen to minimise disruption for couples holding ceremonies during the peak summer season).

Councillor Tom Sanderson, Chair of the county council’s Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion committee, said: “We are delighted that the move to Ascham Road is now complete and can assure residents that they can continue to expect the same high quality, responsive service.

“Our Registration Service team have gone above and beyond during a challenging past couple of years, and the large growth in population is reflected in increasing service demand. The Cambridge office move provides a building with improved facilities, benefiting customers and staff alike. The new ceremony room creates an ideal venue for couples and we look forward to hosting many happy ceremonies there.”

The team has already held tours for residents in the immediate vicinity to view the new site, with many giving positive feedback and several highlighting the amount of thought which has gone into the changes whilst protecting its heritage as a former “Open Air School”.

The building was carefully designed to meet planning conditions and environmental recommendations. For example, sound-insulated ceilings, walls and windows were installed, as well as mechanical ventilation in the ceremony room. The rear garden area has also been fenced and gated, to restrict public access.

One wing of the building is now dedicated to ceremonies and the other wing to a combination of customer appointments and support services. The two are joined by a new purpose-built main waiting room, with self-arrival check in. One of the six customer appointment rooms on site has been designed to be less formal , suitable for holding sensitive registrations such as still births or young child deaths.

The building has also been designed to be highly energy efficient, with an air source heat pump installed, along with improved insulation, LED lighting and secondary glazing to reduce heat loss from the old windows.

The site has customer and staff parking, a CCTV system and is one of the first council buildings to have a “Changing Places” facility (specifically designed for people who are not able to use the toilet independently).

Operational changes were made, to aid with concerns raised about parking and traffic. This included removing the ability for customers to book a 9am appointment, allowing a gap between each ceremony. All customer appointments and ceremonies have to be pre-booked, which enables the service to flex to meet changes in demand whilst controlling parking requirements.

Appointments can be booked online Births Deaths And Marriages - Cambridgeshire County Council , and ceremony availability can be checked / bookings https://www.cambridgeshireceremonies.co.uk/