Cambridge first for Reform

A £1.7 million purpose-built synagogue in Cambridge has been given the green light by the local city council.

The plan is for the 250-member Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue - which has met in temporary premises for 30 years - to move into the Auckland Road building in spring 2013. The cost includes the purchase of the site from the council for £470,000 last year and the community needs to raise a further £900,000 towards the project.

Support for the venture has been pledged by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, a former Cambridge student, and actress Rachel Weisz, whose relatives are Beth Shalom members.

A community room, library and disabled parking and bike racks will be among other features of the building.

Building committee chair Frank Harris hoped construction work would start later this year.

    Last updated: 3:23pm, May 19 2011