Scheme has been delayed a year because of procurement blunder

Firms are beginning to look again at the scheme to refurbish Parliament’s Victoria Tower which has been stalled because of a procurement blunder.

Bidding for the £95m job, which had been due to be start this year, is being rerun because of concerns over the wording of tender documents.

An expression of interest notice was issued last month with work now set to start next year. The last significant repairs were completed more than 30 years ago in the early 1990s.


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The last time refurbishment work on the structure was carried out was in the early 1990s

Building understands that Wates, Bam and Sir Robert McAlpine, which carried out the Elizabeth Tower, are all running the rule over the scheme.

The three priced the job last time along with a joint venture led by south London heritage specialist Walter Lilly.

Lendlease also looked at the job but is understood to have decided not to bid.

The work, which is not part of the wider Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster, involves repairing the tower’s masonry, windows, cast-iron roof, rainwater drainage and flagpole.

The stonework has deteriorated to such an extent that a crash deck has been installed around the lower part of the tower to make sure people below are not hit by falling masonry.

When the job does finally start, work will include shrouding the tower in scaffolding and removing the crash deck.

A UK Parliament spokesperson said: “The Victoria Tower, part of a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a Grade 1 listed structure in need of repairs to fix deteriorating stonework.

“Preparatory work is scheduled to begin this summer and a delay relating to the procurement process means main work is now expected to start in 2025.”

The tower was completed in 1860 and sits at the south-west corner of the Palace of Westminster. It is around 2m taller than the Elizabeth Tower, whose refurbishment was carried out by McAlpine.