To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a (a) detailed cost breakdown of the £2.6 million spent on the television studio in 9 Downing Street and (b) cost-benefit analysis of that spending.
22 March 2021
A breakdown of the figures given out in response to a Freedom of Information Act request on 06/01/2021 is as follows” -
The Government is establishing facilities within 9 Downing Street which will be used for daily broadcasting by a number of news organisations. This will necessarily require one-off capital works, including audio-visual equipment, internet infrastructure, electrical works and lighting.
This spending is in the public interest as the new broadcasting of lobby briefings will increase public accountability and transparency about the work of this Government now and in the future.
Such spending on maintenance and technical facilities reflects that 9 Downing Street (the Privy Council Office) is a Grade 1 listed building.
All such listed buildings must be maintained to high heritage standards, reflecting the buildings’ important role in the cultural fabric of our nation.
A breakdown of the costs which we hold are below.
Media centre Ph1 fees
£96,157.67 ex vat
Media centre Ph1 enabling works.
£135,201.85 ex vat
Media centre Broadband equipment
£33,394.63 ex vat
£9,050.30 ex vat
£1,456.06 ex vat
Enabling order 2
£285,788.29 ex vat
Main works ph1
£1,848,695.12 ex vat
Media Centre Ph1 Long Lead items
Annual figures on expenditure on property, plant and equipment by the Cabinet Office can be found in the departmental annual report and accounts.
In assessing the business case for the spending (i.e. the costs and the benefits), it was noted that No 9 Downing Street is a Grade 1 listed building which has not been updated or modernised for over 50 years. Over half of the cost of this project provides for modernisation to a substantial part of the building in line with the Cabinet Office’s statutory duties to preserve and maintain it, through making the roof sound, strengthening the floor, new heating and cooling, and electrical wiring replacement. The space being converted was idle and dilapidated and this project maximises the capability of the building. It was also deemed necessary to the success of the project to bring in technical expertise from specialist contractors.