Let’s move to Cambridge: ‘Ancient university and biotech boom town’June 23, 2017 16:30
It has the Footlights, the Backs and Nine Lessons and Carols – plus gargantuan science parks and property prices, thanks to the biotech boom
What’s going for it? Success doesn’t always come in the form you might wish. Unlike the more entitled, worldly Oxford, Cambridge has long had the air of an ordinary market town that hit the jackpot and couldn’t believe its luck. It has had the last laugh, though. The signs of Cambridge’s astonishing new economic success come in the shape of gargantuan science parks and property prices only just the right side of London’s. It has created a peculiar place. On the one hand there’s the Cambridge you think you know: university, Tom Sharpe, Footlights, the Backs, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, all of that gubbins. On the other, money, money, money, as thousands pour into the city hunting biotech jobs, nerd fame and geek fortune. The two sides are in uneasy equilibrium. It can only end in tears. For now, though, it makes for bizarre juxtapositions, the ancient jump-cut with the futuristic, the provincial with the globalised, and old town houses beside luxury apartment blocks bulging from any spare square inch.
The case against A victim of its own success? Some growth lobbyists would have even more, removing planning restrictions to turn Silicon Fen into Silicon City. Expensive. I’d miss the sea. But then that’s me. Continue reading...