25 April 2013

Industry day for the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster

In October 2012, following consideration of a report on the condition of the fabric of the Palace, the House of Commons Commission and the House Committee of the House of Lords agreed to commission a comprehensive, independent assessment, including costs, of a range of options for the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster.

The report, Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster, indicated that, unless significant restoration work is undertaken, major, irreversible damage may be done to the Palace which is an iconic building and key feature of the Westminster UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As part of a market engagement exercise, before the procurement of the comprehensive, independent assessment, an ‘industry day’ takes place today. A total of 36 companies have responded to the open invitation to take part.

The industry day will be used to provide potential bidders with an opportunity to meet the Programme team and other officials, including members of the Parliamentary Estates Directorate (PED), to hear about the feedback from the market-engagement exercise, and to learn more about the forthcoming procurement. Presentations will be delivered about the working context in Parliament, Parliamentary Estates Directorate (PED), and the Programme, with opportunities for questions and comments.

The successful bidder will be tasked with examining the costs, benefits, risks and general feasibility of three possible approaches to the restoration and renewal of the Palace, which are:

  • continuing repairs and replacement of the fabric and systems of the Palace over an indefinite period of time
  • a defined, rolling programme of more substantial repairs and replacement over a long period, but still working around continued use of the Palace
  • scheduling the works over a more concentrated period with parliamentary activities moved elsewhere to allow unrestricted access to the Palace for the delivery of the works.

A final decision on the option to adopt will be made by both Houses in due course.

Alongside the procurement exercise, work continues to collate existing technical information on the detailed condition of the Palace and to specify technical requirements for the future renewal of fabric and systems, and for any temporary accommodation required.