Houses of Parliament

Credit: Marcin Nowak

Children from across Manchester will have the chance to be architects and engineers for a day [Wednesday 27 October] in an event aimed at drawing up ideas to make Parliament greener and easier to visit. 

This half-term the People’s History Museum in Manchester, working with the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme, will host two free, family friendly interactive sessions. 

Taking place on Wednesday 27 October, children will be invited to hear about the historic Palace of Westminster in a fun story telling activity. They will find out about the world-famous Houses of Parliament, at the heart of our nation’s history for hundreds of years.  

Despite being the home of the UK Parliament, children and their families will discover that today, the building is falling apart faster than it can be repaired and is in need of a programme of essential restoration.


Using arts and crafts the children will be invited to share their ideas, thoughts and drawings on how to restore the building on a large-scale outline of the Palace of Westminster. Ideas could range from how to make Parliament more environmentally friendly to making the building easier for people to visit. 

The team leading the project – the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme – is developing a detailed restoration plan, that will for the first time include costs and timescales for the essential work that needs doing. Parliament will vote on this plan in 2023 before work begins. 

The children’s ideas and pictures will be shared with the team making the plans to restore the palace, so they know what children and young people think about the future of the building. 

Sarah Johnson, CEO, Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal Sponsor Body said: 

“I’m grateful to the People’s History Museum for hosting these events this half term and I’m very excited to see lots of creative ideas from children across Manchester about how to restore the Houses of Parliament building.  

“Children today are the MPs and politicians of the future who will work in and take care of the Palace of Westminster so it’s great to get them involved in saving this unique building.” 

“The Palace of Westminster is the home of Parliament, representing every person across the UK, and this event is one of many activities that give all of us the opportunity to share their views on how to save the magnificent building.” 

Liz Thorpe, Learning Officer at People’s History Museum, said:  

“It’s really exciting for the national museum of democracy to be working with one of the international symbols of democracy.  For democracy to thrive it’s vital that young people’s voices are heard, which our partnership with the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme is making possible in an inspiring and fun way.” 

There will be two, hour long sessions held on Wednesday 27 October at 1pm and 2pm. The activities are suitable for children aged 5 – 10 years and free to take part in. 

There are limited places available, with booking in advance required on Eventbrite. More details are available on the People’s History Museum website. The museum’s opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm, and entry is free, with a suggested donation of £5. 

This activity forms part of a range of work planned to engage the public across the UK with the Restoration and Renewal Programme. A series of debates involving thousands of students from over 100 schools took place over the summer asking young people for their views on a range of issues including the importance of visitor access, making the building environmentally sustainable and protecting the palace for future generations.  

Visitors to the People’s History Museum will also be able to view the The Longest Act, 1821 on loan from the Parliamentary Archives. The act will be on display in the museum’s Main Gallery One until 5 December to mark its 200th anniversary. It is the first time that the act, which is 348 metres long, has been displayed outside of Parliament.