HC Deb 17 July 2000 vol 354 c3W
Mrs. Roe

To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee if he will make a progress report on the completion and occupation of Portcullis House. [130940]

Sir Sydney Chapman

I am pleased to advise my hon. Friend that the work will be substantially complete by the end of this month. Hon. Members and their staff will, therefore, be able to start to occupy the building during September, as planned.

Most of the accommodation will be handed over this month. Already, the four office floors, with their furniture, have been handed back ahead of schedule; the remaining two floors should be complete by the end of the month, with the exception of the installation of specialist equipment in the committee rooms and the main entrance.

My hon. Friend will wish to note that the conference and interview rooms will be available for use by hon. Members with effect from 18 September. The four Select Committee rooms and the two multi-purpose rooms will be available from 26 October. I am pleased to announce that my Committee has agreed that these latter rooms should be named after prominent Parliamentarians, rather than numbered; and that they are to be named "Boothroyd", "Attlee", "Grimond", "Macmillan", "Thatcher" and "Wilson".

During the Summer Adjournment work will be carried out around the periphery of the building. This work will include the installation of the bridge link to the Norman Shaw South Building, restoration of the roads and pavements and the installation of the shop fronts.

Work to repair and restore the subway under Bridge street is being carried out by London Underground and the project team. The intention is that it would be reopened at the beginning of September. This will then provide a direct route between the Palace and all the parliamentary outbuildings north of Bridge street and a covered route to the Underground Station.

Negotiations are proceeding satisfactorily with prospective tenants for the three shop units, which it is intended will be open by the time the House returns. Based on responses from hon. Members to the type of shops they wished to see provided, there will be a small supermarket, a coffee bar and a dry cleaners.

Finally, my hon. Friend will wish to note that the forecast final cost of Portcullis House is now £230 million.