Developer pictures show what it will be like to walk around the Grafton Centre after its major redevelopment is completed.

Cambridge City Council approved plans on February 7 to partially demolish the shopping centre and the neighbouring Abbeygate House to build new life science laboratories.

Some shops will remain in the new Grafton Centre, and the developer, Pioneer Group Ltd, has said the shop fronts will be replaced, and a new hotel and gym will also be built.

Concerns have been raised about how the new taller buildings will impact the city’s historic skyline, but overall councillors decided the benefits of the redevelopment outweighed the harm.

Richard O’Boyle, chief executive of Pioneer Group, told councillors that the new Grafton Centre will provide five times more jobs and said around 60 per cent of the jobs would not need a degree.

He said the company was “genuinely excited” about the potential impact the redeveloped Grafton Centre could have on “helping Cambridge city centre evolve for all”.