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The organisation which will lead the UK’s biggest heritage renovation project, the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, was launched as an independent body separate from Parliament on 8 April 2020.
The Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body has been set up to tackle the work needed to protect the Palace, ensuring it can continue to serve as the home of the UK Parliament in the 21st century and beyond.
The Sponsor Body will set the scope, budget and timescale for the project. It will oversee a Delivery Authority, which will be established in the coming weeks and will be responsible for procuring contractors and executing the work.
The 1,100-room Palace dates from the mid-1800s and is now one of the most iconic and significant buildings in the world. The previous building was devastated by fire in 1834 but the oldest part of the Parliamentary Estate, Westminster Hall, built in 1099, survived and is still in use today. The Palace is now a Grade I listed building and, with Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church, forms part of the UNESCO Westminster World Heritage Site.
Following the debates in both Houses in early 2018, Parliament agreed that the ‘best and most cost-effective way’ to carry out the restoration and renewal of the Palace in one single phase is to temporarily move out of the building.
Watch this film to see why the Palace of Westminster needs a major refurbishment, and hear how the building will be improved for generations to come.