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Holyrood site added to Parliament short list

08/12/1997

The Rt Hon Donald Dewar MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, announced today that he is to consider a site at Holyrood opposite the Royal Palace as a possible location for the Scottish Parliament building.

Mr Dewar said:

"The four-acre Holyrood site, next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, was on our original 'long list'. It was not short-listed because we could not then be sure that it would be available on the required timescale. We have kept in touch with Scottish and Newcastle, who have now said that they can vacate the site by early 1999 which would allow the Parliament building to be constructed by 2001.

"The site clearly has great potential. It would allow a purpose-build Parliament building to be constructed on a City-centre site of considerable historic significance close to Holyrood Palace and the Royal Park. We expect the cost of a building at Holyrood would bear comparison with the other sites under consideration. But, as with the other sites, there are a number of issues which need to be addressed including design feasibility, cost and transport and environmental impact before we reach our decision. I have therefore commissioned studies of the Holyrood site to report by next week: that is on the same timescale as the studies currently underway on the other three sites. The expertise which the consultants have developed in looking at the other sites together with the work which S&N have already done on this site makes this accelerated timescale possible.

"I am not saying that Holyrood is the front runner, nor that it will be the final choice, but it clearly deserves to be considered alongside the others.

"Looking at the Holyrood site will not affect the overall timescale for deciding on the location of the Scottish Parliament. We will consider the study reports on the four sites before Christmas. We expect to announce a decision by the time the Scotland Bill receives its second reading in January."

News Release - 1960/97 Date December 8, 1997