Bill to repair Big Ben has now hit £61m
REPAIR costs for Elizabeth Tower in the Palace of Westminster have now doubled to an estimated £61million, parliamentary authorities have said.
The conservation project for the clock tower, which houses the famous bell known as Big Ben, was originally priced at £29million in the spring of 2016.
The repair effort caused controversy when it was announced that Big Ben would only chime on special occasions over the next four years while the works were being carried out.
The House of Commons and House of Lords Commissions have been told that the increase in costs is due to a better understanding of the complexity of the work needed to restore the tower.
A House of Commons spokeswoman said: “The commissions expressed their disappointment in the cost increases, and the unreliability of the original estimate.
“They instructed officials to provide regular updates on progress and costs to the relevant domestic committees so they can keep the commissions fully informed of the project.
“They also reiterated their commitment to preserve the Elizabeth Tower and Great Clock for future generations.”
In a joint statement, the clerk of the House of Commons, the clerk of the Parliaments and the director general of the House of Commons said: “The initial estimates were set at a lower level to avoid cost escalation from the market.
“Subsequent estimates using better data, better reflect the true likelihood of the costs.”
The Elizabeth Tower