Old Shire Hall could be set to become a hotel, as Councillors meet today (Wednesday) to review bids for the future of the Castle Hill site.

Shire Hall, the Octagon building, Castle Lodge registry offices and the Old Police Station - along with the surrounding car parking - was put up for sale in February.

The County Council’s HQ relocated to purpose-built offices at Alconbury Weald in 2021.

Castle Mound and the Civil War Earthworks, both scheduled ancient monuments, and the Shire Hall Lawn are not included in the sale.

42 Castle Street will also be kept by the Council and Rights of Way across the site will remain open.

A total of 15 bids were received for the site with a range of different uses across the various buildings on the site including hotels and extended stay apartments, retirement living, student, co-living, research, residential apartments, offices and business space.

Bids include freehold and leasehold arrangements, with some proposals conditional on achieving planning permission. 

A shortlist of four bids will be put to councillors on the Assets & Procurement Committee, following extensive due diligence work by officers.

A proposal for a new hotel was recommended by officers.

Once chosen, the council will enter an exclusivity period with the preferred bidder.

This will allow time for the bidder to carry out surveys of the buildings, discuss their proposals with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service and further their designs.

The aim is to exchange contracts and complete the sale in the Autumn. Due to commercial sensitivities financial details of the bid are not being made public at this time.

Chair of the Asset & Procurement Committee, Councillor Ros Hathorn said: “We’re fortunate to have received several strong options for the future use of the Old Shire Hall site.

"We’ll be working hard to make sure that the quality of the bids received deliver the best value for residents and taxpayers, as well as the wider benefits to the community offered by the proposals.

“I’d like to thank the hard work officers have put in to complete due diligence on the range of bids over past weeks and anticipate a range of economic and social benefits as a result of the regeneration of the iconic Old Shire Hall building and this central Cambridge site.”