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PM set to back £4bn Parliament restoration

Palace of Westminster

Prime minister Theresa May is expected to back a £4 billion package of repairs to the Houses of Parliament which will require MPs to leave the buildings for six years

According to The Times, a senior parliamentary committee is expected to recommend today (8 September) that MPs relocate to the nearby Department for Health and peers move to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre while vital restoration work takes place. 

While May’s backing would mean the move would be more likely, it would still be subject to a parliamentary vote. 

Last year Foster + Partners and BDP were named among the practices vying for the client adviser role on the conservation of Charles Barry’s Grade-I listed Palace of Westminster (see below).

The AJ’s sister title Construction News previously revealed that the parliamentary committee report, which had been expected in early 2016, would be delayed until at least the autumn.

An independent appraisal published last June outlined a number of options for the restoration work, including a longer 40-year rolling programme with work carried out around continued occupation of both Houses of Parliament, which would could cost up to £5.7 billion.

The same reported budgeted a six-year move-out at £3.9 billion. The appraisal also warned that a decision was needed in early 2016 if work were to start by 2020. Each year that a decision is delayed, the report claimed, would add an extra £60-85 million to capital costs in tender price inflation.

Last December nine bidders were named for the architectural and project management worth £30 million. However, the contracts, which were expected to be awarded at the end of June this year, were delayed.

Contractors are currently doing piecemeal repairs to the parts of the palace where the risk of ‘catastrophic breakdown’ is ’uncomfortably high’, according to a 2013 report.

In April, Studio Egret West drew up plans to temporarily relocate the Houses of Parliament to Bristol while the Palace of Westminster is being refurbished


Lot 1 shortlist – architectural and building design services

  • Allies and Morrison
  • BDP 
  • Foster + Partners 
  • HOK

Lot 2 shortlist – programme, project and cost management services

  • Aecom and Mace (joint venture)
  • Capita Property Infrastructure and Gleeds Cost Management (joint venture)
  • CH2M Hill 
  • EC Harris (Acadis)
  • Turner & Townsend



Readers' comments (3)

  • That is a scary number. Perhaps use lottery money to fund the current restoration, make it a new museum, and use the £4B of taxpayer money to create a short new tube line to a deprived area of London and build a new parliament there?

    I'm being silly, but £4B is a stupendous sum of money.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • MacKenzie Architects

    This isn't surprising, no Government in probably 50 years has done any joined up thinking.
    We can't even fit all the MPS in the Chamber at one time, and who knows how the House of Lords works with all these peers on an interesting debate day.

    They have obviously had no long-term plan for decades, if they now think £4 billion is required to sort things out. Remember the Scottish Parliament -that went from £40 million to £440 million, so lets just call it £40 billion now and be done with it.

    Cheaper by miles to build a new building, and much less inconvenience.
    Right on the site too.

    Build an Ile de France type island in the Thames, or if that's too scary an idea for those of a delicate disposition, just build out the bank about 50 metres from the Members Terrace and plonk a beautiful world-beating group of buildings

    I bet you none of the interviewed Architects were allowed to do any blue-skies thinking on this brief. What a country.

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  • MacKenzie Architects

    I'll send you a sketch if you want.

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