HC Deb 01 November 1996 vol 284 c308W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the contract to build the new British embassy in Moscow and on the future of the present building. [1210]

Mr. Hanley

The contract to build new embassy offices, staff accommodation, amenities and ancillaries has been awarded to Taylor Woodrow in joint venture with the Finnish firm, Skanska. Construction will start this month and is scheduled to take 30 months. The value of the contract is about £60 million. The buildings will be a major improvement on the present cramped and unsatisfactory working and living conditions and totally inadequate visa-issuing facilities.

The lease on the present premises, which includes the ambassador's residence, was renewed for 99 years in 1993. The residence will be retained and the vacated offices will be converted into further residential accommodation for embassy staff.