Cambridge is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. With rapid growth in tech and life sciences, continued occupier investment and the Arc’s potential to become one of the most innovative and sustainable economic areas in the world, Cambridge has all the right ingredients to lead the charge in the UK’s economic recovery.

The challenge is facilitating this growth while planning long-term, and retaining the charm that is key to the city’s success. So in a booming market, how is Cambridge addressing impacts such as congestion, housing demand and the changes wrought by the pandemic, and what support does it need to create a prosperous future in which future generations can live and thrive?


Gemma Goddard, partner, commercial property team, Birketts

Goddard qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and joined Birketts in 2018 having worked at a Magic Circle law firm for more than a decade. Goddard has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate work, specialising in high-value acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management, development, land promotion, energy and infrastructure projects as well as real estate financing.

Tom Newcombe, head of planning and environmental team, Birketts

Newcombe specialises in planning, environmental and highways law. He advises local authorities, landowners and developers on the planning of commercial and residential developments including: the planning application process and supporting documents; Environmental Impact Assessment; contracts conditional on planning; section 106 agreements and unilateral undertakings; planning conditions; submission of and process management of planning appeals via written representations, hearings and inquiries; section 73 applications; and judicial review.

Jane Paterson-Todd, chief executive, Cambridge Ahead

Paterson-Todd heads Cambridge Ahead, a membership organisation for large-scale businesses and institutions in Cambridge that supports and influences local and central government decision making on the growth needs of the region. Prior to her appointment at Cambridge Ahead, Paterson-Todd’a career spanned both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, including roles as head of a London-based theatre, the group commercial director of Emap conferences, head of fundraising and development at the Barbican, as well as over 11 years in national media advertising including The Telegraph, The Times, Elle and Elle Decoration.

Lisa Pilkington, journalist and broadcaster, BBC

An experienced business journalist, editor and broadcaster, Pilkington has more than 20 years’ experience writing, commissioning, editing and broadcasting on a wide range of personable, topical and inspiring commercial property-related print and online content for national, trade and consumer media, including various editorial positions at EG. A BBC radio presenter, Pilkington is also the founder of Pilkington Media Consultants. Formed in September 2017, the specialist property editorial consultancy focuses on multimedia journalism, editing and copywriting in all market sectors.

Matt Soules, director, building and project consultancy, and head of Savills Science

Soules has delivered projects across a wide variety of sectors, but particularly specialises in corporate occupier and commercial laboratory facilities. He also leads Savills Science in the UK, bringing together experts across the international business with a science focus to deliver turnkey real estate solutions for our clients in the sector.

Tom Fraser, director, development, and head of Savills Cambridge

Fraser is a chartered surveyor (fellow of RICS) specialising in residential agency. Fraser works mainly with landowner clients which, over the years, has allowed him to gain a wealth of knowledge with the ability to advise on wide-ranging matters. He has also provided advice in disputes and trained as an expert witness (RICS).

Nik Johnson, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Johnson trained at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, and qualified in 1993. He was appointed as a consultant paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke hospital in 2006. He stood for Labour in two general elections and was elected as district councillor for St Neots East in 2018 – the first Labour councillor in the town for two decades. He also sat on Huntingdonshire District council’s planning committee. In May this year, he was elected mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

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