Parliamentarians urge Palace of Westminster to renew with wood
As Chairman of the newly founded APPG on Timber Industries, Ian Paisley MP has written to the Leader of the House of Commons Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP urging him to consider replacing wooden structures within the House with the same material where at all possible. The Restoration and Renewal Programme is due to be announced in the Spring of 2016.
Timber Industries APPG Chairman Ian Paisley MP said: “As a member of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster I have already engaged in the lively discussion about the restoration and renovation of the Palace of Westminster. Indeed, whichever path we decide to take with regard to the renovation, be it a full-scale move for six years, or even a gradual approach over some 30 years, this decision will inevitably be of great cost to the tax payer. It is therefore essential that we aim for an efficient and cost-effective renovation which upholds the history and legacy of the Palace.”
“Members of the APPG for the Timber Industries are particularly concerned about the future of the rich wood heritage which lights up the Palace wherever you go – this is something we feel strongly is imperative to uphold. You only need to look at the stunning hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall to see the immense radiance of tradition and elegance which has been expressed through timber, whilst also highlighting its sustainability, for over 600 years.”
Ian Paisley MP added: “It is often forgotten that timber not only offers an alluring array of beautiful structures which last a lifetime but also exceptional value for money due to its durability and relatively low need for maintenance. In order to preserve the legacy of attractive timber features in the Palace of Westminster it is essential we replace wooden structures within the House with the same material where at all possible. I have asked the Leader of the House of Commons for his personal assurance that he will endeavour to uphold this compelling tradition.”
Notes to the editor:
- Members of both Houses are expected to make a decision in principle on a preferred way forward for carrying out the Restoration and Renewal Programme in the Spring of 2016. Anticipated start date for the Restoration and Renewal Programme is early 2020s.
More information can be found on http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/restoration-project
- The new APPG for Timber Industries was set up in February 2016. In total 43 parliamentarians (38 MPs and 5 peers) have already expressed an interest in the new APPG including 25 Conservatives, 10 Labour, 3 SNP, 2 DUP, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP and 1 Liberal Democrat. In total there are 33 parliamentarians from England, 4 from Northern Ireland, 4 from Scotland and 2 from Wales. The Confederation of Timber Industry (CTI) has been asked by the APPG to provide the secretarial support for the group.