Wates wins £650m job to start refurb of Parliament

Wates has been chosen as the contractor to deliver a £650 million revamp programme on Parliament’s Northern Estate, which is expected to be started in 2019.

The essential refurbishment will help restore and protect listed heritage buildings in Westminster including Norman Shaw North and South, 1 Parliament Street and 1 Derby Gate, ensuring they are safe, accessible and efficient for future generations. It will also help ensure suitable spaces and facilities for the House of Commons to temporarily move out of the Palace of Westminster while it undergoes a multi-year programme of restoration and renewal in the mid-2020s.

The buildings, built between 1864 and 1906, currently provide office accommodation to over 950 people, but many have had no significant investment for more than 30 years. Buildings are in varying states of disrepair; systems and services regularly fail and they are uneconomical to run.

Overall, the programme aims to boost the amount and standard of office space, delivering an estate with reduced running costs, increased environmental performance and improved safety and accessibility.

Key features of the programme, which will also create hundreds of jobs, will include;

• The creation of more than 160 apprenticeships, along with support for schools and colleges

• A new nationwide programme to train a new generation of heritage craftspeople such as stonemasons, traditional plasterers and joiners.

• A commitment to invest £1 million in Social Enterprises, giving them access to the project and providing a significant long-term boost for the sector

• A commitment to put smaller businesses at the heart of this major heritage project

• ‘Meet the buyer’ events to be held all over the country giving potential suppliers an opportunity to meet with Wates and be involved in the Northern Estate Programme.

Paul Chandler, Group Managing Director, Wates Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this nationally significant and exciting programme of work on the Parliamentary estate and look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Parliament. These buildings are at the heart of the UK’s heritage and we understand the responsibility we hold in helping to preserve them for generations to come. We will bring more than 120 years of experience and knowledge to this project and will create a lasting legacy through our commitment to providing new training, employment and skills opportunities.”