National Audit Office Press Releases
Investigation into the management of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre
Background to the report
The creation of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre (the Memorial and Learning Centre) was recommended by the Holocaust Commission (the Commission) in January 2015, which stated the need for a ‘striking new memorial to serve as the focal point of national commemoration of the Holocaust … prominently located in Central London to make a bold statement about the importance Britain places on preserving the memory of the Holocaust’. The Commission also recommended that a new world-class learning centre should physically accompany the new national memorial. In 2015, the then Prime Minister, with cross-government support, announced his decision to build the Memorial and Learning Centre as recommended by the Commission. He committed to provide £50 million of funding at this time.
The government tasked the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (the Department) with managing the delivery of the Memorial and Learning Centre, supported by a UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board (the Foundation). The government appointed the Foundation to provide public leadership of the programme and to give independent strategic advice. In January 2016, the government announced that Victoria Tower Gardens was the chosen site. As at March 2022, the forecast cost to build the Memorial and Learning Centre was £102.9 million (plus contingency). The Department estimates that the total costs of running the Memorial and Learning Centre are “likely to be in the range” of £6 million to £8 million per year.
Scope of the report
Construction of the Memorial and Learning Centre had not begun at the time of our fieldwork but, there are risks and uncertainties emerging which are likely to increase costs and cause delays. This investigation sets out our findings in relation to:
- how the Department is set up to manage the programme;
- maximising the impact of the programme; and
- emerging risks to cost and schedule.
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