As I announced on 22 March 2005, the cost of the acquisition of the 1 and 2 Millbank site was £65 million plus VAT on part of the premises. An initial payment was made in March 2005: the final payment of £22,181,250 plus VAT is payable in September 2007 and is included in the House's estimate for this year.
Robust estimates of the costs of refurbishment are not yet available. When the site was purchased, it was hoped that early surrender of the lease held by a third party in respect of one-third of the site would make it possible to obtain vacant possession of the entire site in order for it to be refurbished as a whole. This has not proved possible and the refurbishment strategy has had to be reviewed to enable the site to be refurbished in two stages. As a result of this work the House Committee has very recently agreed to a design option for the fit-out of 1 and 2 Millbank alone. Detailed design work will now be undertaken to take forward that work, following which the House Committee will be invited to consider estimates of works costs. It is envisaged that the first stage of the refurbishment work will begin in the second half of 2008 and will conclude to enable occupation of the site during 2010. The second stage of the refurbishment will not begin before 2015, when the lease on the last part of the site can be terminated.