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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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Victoria Tower project

180 years on from its construction, a repair project to ensure the future of the Victoria Tower is expected to begin in 2025. Planning for the project is currently underway.

The Victoria Tower photographed from Victoria Tower Gardens

Why is this being planned?

The masonry on the Victoria Tower, the largest tower in the Palace of Westminster, is deteriorating.

The root cause of failure of the stonework is exposure; every year the freeze-thaw cycle and storm conditions weaken the structure further.

This has caused stone to fall from the tower and poses a risk of injury. A ‘crash deck’ and safety measures are in place but surveys have shown more significant work is required.

The project will require the erection of a large scaffold around the tower so that repair of the stonework can take place. To maximise the use of the scaffold the project will also include additional elements such as conservation works to the window glazing, cast iron roof, rainwater drainage system and flagpole. 

This work is being delivered separately from the wider Restoration and Renewal of Parliament programme. It was examined in detail whether the work could wait until the wider restoration was underway and the conclusion was that delivering this work now would be the best option.

What is happening?

Site investigation works were carried out during the summer of 2021 and 2022. Further surveys will be conducted on the tower to inform the design.

Meanwhile, a huge amount of planning is necessary in order to deliver the project. Next steps include finalising requirements such as , carrying out a thorough procurement process to secure the best contractors to do the work, and completing the planning for the work.

The main repair work is expected to begin in 2025.