The government today (23 February 2023) introduced new legislation that will progress the construction of a National Holocaust Memorial.
Located next to the Houses of Parliament, the memorial will serve as a powerful reminder to the whole nation of the Holocaust, its victims and where prejudice can lead if unchallenged.
The Holocaust Memorial Bill, announced by the Prime Minister in January, updates legislation dating back to the Victorian times, removing a statutory obstacle that has previously prevented the building of a new memorial and learning centre in Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster.
Levelling Up Secretary Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said:
As a nation, it is vital we learn from the past to build a future which is free from prejudice and hatred.
This memorial will rightly sit at the heart of Westminster, alongside other great symbols of our democracy, and will act as an inspiration to the whole nation for generations to come.
Today’s Bill is timely as the remaining survivors are becoming older and fewer in number, meaning it is vital that we push ahead with the Memorial – we owe it to the 6 million Jewish people who were murdered.
Planning consent for the Holocaust Memorial to be built in Victoria Tower Gardens was granted in July 2021, but the decision was quashed by the High Court in April 2022 due to historical legislation passed in 1900 to extend the gardens.
This Bill seeks to remove this obstacle and ensure that the project can be completed as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
Careful design means the memorial will enhance the gardens, ensuring they continue to provide an important public garden available to residents and visitors to Westminster. Paths and seating will be more attractive and accessible, and landscaping improvements will enhance the local environment.
The memorial and learning centre will be free to visitors, with timed entry tickets.