Citizens’ Advice – derelict building becomes community hub
A 1950s industrial building that had been a photo processing works was refurbished to create a new facility for the Cambridge and District Citizens Advice Bureau. The ground floor comprises a spacious reception with 8 interview rooms, together with office areas for staff and volunteers. At first floor level is a large open plan office intended for letting to other third sector agencies, together with 2 large training rooms.
The building was officially opened by Sir Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, on July 12th 2010. In his address, Sir Mervyn had the following to say:
“What I have found particularly impressive about the building … is that people who come for help and advice immediately find themselves in an environment that exudes excellence and attractiveness.
What we have to do is make facilities like this first rate, not just in the quality of advice, which has always been there, but in the facilities, the architecture, the environment. When someone walks through that door needing a solution to problems which have made their life perhaps almost unbearable at present, they want to feel they have come somewhere where all the people and the environment exude success. “We will help you overcome your difficulties.” However bad they may seem out there, once you’re in here there is a sense of confidence which is shared with the client, that these problems, difficult though they may be, can in fact be overcome. And it is vital therefore, and we shouldn’t be ashamed, that the architecture is first rate.”