House of Lord move to QEII Centre to be reviewed
The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has welcomed a Parliamentary decision to review the impact on the QEII Centre, following a vote by the House of Lords to leave the Palace of Westminster during its renovation.
Speaking in a debate this week, many Lords expressed concern at the impact on central London’s largest conference venue if it were chosen to temporarily host the Lords chamber and agreed the need for a thorough review of all options.
Responding to their concerns, baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Leader of the House of Lords, emphasised that no decisions had been made at this stage, further feasibility work would need to be taken and “a number” of commercial implications considered.
The QEII remains open for business, she stressed and the UK’s reputation as an important meetings destination would be “in the mind” of a new Sponsor Board that would be established to oversee restoration work.
Welcoming the commitment to further discussion, Michael Hirst OBE, chair of BVEP said: “We welcome the decision of both Houses to act on the Parliamentary Joint Committee report and to put in place the governance arrangements to support the safeguarding of this vital world heritage building. The establishment of a Sponsor Board and a Delivery Authority will provide the opportunity for the industry and other experts to put forward the case for keeping the QEII Centre open and also help develop realistic alternatives for the decant options required by the Lords. The support for the QEII Centre expressed by many of the Lords that contributed to this week’s debate demonstrates they recognise the vital contribution the QEII Centre makes to London and the UK.”
He added: “This is the time for Parliamentarians to consider the critical role that venues such as the QEII - and many others across Britain - play in hosting international gatherings of the highest profile. These important business events showcase Britain to the world and support our country as a destination for high level discussions on trade, scientific research and international diplomacy. All this becomes even more imperative after Brexit”.