The UK Houses of Parliament are set to undergo a multi-billion pound refurbishment and a cross-party group of politicians are calling for extensive use of timber in the work.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of members of parliament (MPs) on Timber Industries was only recently formed on the initiative of the Confederation of Timber Industries umbrella trade association. Where the restoration work requires replacement of wooden structures that are beyond repair, it is urging the use of the same material, wherever possible.
“We are particularly concerned about the future of the rich wood heritage which lights up the Houses of Parliament wherever you go,” said APPG Chairman Ian Paisley MP. “This is something we feel strongly is imperative to uphold. You only need to look at the stunning hammer-beam wooden roof of Westminster Hall in the building to see the immense radiance of tradition and elegance which has been expressed through timber for over 600 years, a fact that also underlines its sustainability.”
He added that timber also offered “exceptional value for money due to its durability and relatively low need for maintenance”. MPs will decide on the programme for the refurbishment this spring. Media reports have put the estimated eventual cost of the work at up to £7.1 billion.