Palace of Westminster: Repairs and Maintenance

House of Commons Commission written statement – made on 28th February 2018.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

Both Houses have decided that the next steps of the Restoration & Renewal Programme should be overseen by a Sponsor Board and Delivery Authority. It is expected that the Commission of each House will therefore immediately focus on establishing those bodies in shadow form. Until the shadow Sponsor Board has been appointed, the Programme will continue to be delivered under the governance of the bicameral Programme Board, which consists of officials from both Houses plus two external members, and acts with authority delegated from the Board and Accounting Officer of each House. Establishing both bodies in substantive form will require primary legislation.

The Programme Team, supported by its client advisory services consultants, CH2M and BDP, will continue work in the following areas:

  • further investigation and documentation of the current physical condition of the Palace of Westminster and its building services;
  • further studies on the feasibility of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre as temporary accommodation for the House of Lords;
  • design of Richmond House as temporary accommodation for the House of Commons, which is being taken forward as part of the Commons’ Northern Estate Programme;
  • development of a client brief for the design of the works to the Palace of Westminster;
  • the development of the required Outline Business Cases (OBCs), compliant with HM Treasury’s Green Book; and
  • a further round of medium-term mechanical and electrical, public health and conservation work to mitigate the operational risks to Parliament presented by the condition of the building between now and the commencement of the construction phase of the R&R Programme.

The design phase will require extensive consultation with Members of both Houses, as well as a wide range of other stakeholders including staff, third-party occupants of the Parliamentary Estate, visitors and other members of society throughout the United Kingdom. It is anticipated that this engagement work will be developed and taken forward by the shadow Sponsor Board once it is established later this year.

In the meantime, members of the Programme Team would be happy to receive suggestions and ideas from Members of both Houses. They can be contacted via