Elizabeth Peace CBE has been appointed by Parliament as the head of the Board which will oversee the restoration work on Parliament.
Earlier this year, both Houses of Parliament agreed to temporarily vacate the Palace of Westminster to allow the urgent work on the building to be carried out in one single phase. They also agreed to establish an Olympic-style Sponsor Board, set up through legislation, to manage the work.
Liz Peace becomes the Chair of the shadow Sponsor Board of the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster. Both the House of Commons and House of Lords approved her appointment on Monday 16 July.
Liz Peace leads four other industry figures and seven Members of Parliament from both Houses on the Sponsor Board. The Board will own the budget, business case and scope of the restoration programme, and will be set up initially in shadow form and subsequently through legislation.
With more than 35 years’ experience in government, Liz has run trade association, the British Property Federation, as well as being a trustee at the Churches Conservation Trust, chair of the Architectural Heritage Fund, the property industry’s charity, LandAid, and the Mayor of London’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, which manages the UK’s largest regeneration project.
Liz said: “It’s an honour to be taking on this important role. The Palace of Westminster is an iconic building, of huge national importance, and I’m thrilled to be leading this much-needed restoration project. Together with the talent, knowledge and experience of the wider Board, I hope to help steer the project through to successful completion, and create a Parliament building of which the whole country can be proud.”
The restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster project will tackle the significant work that needs to be done in one single phase, with Parliament being temporarily rehoused, most likely in locations nearby such as Richmond House, in Whitehall, currently home to the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, a conference facility just off Parliament Square.
The 1,100-room Palace dates from the mid-1800s as 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 a Grade I listed building and, with Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church, forms part of the UNESCO Westminster World Heritage Site.