Bury St Edmunds-based project manager Paul Rynsard hails new Parliament Education Centre

The new Parliament Education Centre, designed by Feilden+Mawson.

The new Parliament Education Centre, designed by Feilden+Mawson. - Credit: Archant

A new £7.4million education centre at the Houses of Parliament, the design of which was led by a project manager from Suffolk, has been officially opened.

Paul Rynsard from Bury St Edmunds, a partner at architects’ practice Feilden+Mawson which includes offices in Norwich, Cambridge and London, acted as design team lead consultant for the scheme.

Mr Rynsard’s team spent two years working on the Parliament Education Centre, which is expected to be used by around 100,000 school pupils a year.

It consists of five learning spaces – with the themes of Commons, Lords, Monarchy, My Parliament and Discovery – and offers a range of programmes across different age groups, complementing national curriculum teaching on history, citizenship and politics.

Mr Rynsard said: “The new Parliament Education Centre has added to the experience of young people who visit the Palace of Westminster. Feilden+Mawson is proud to have taken the lead in designing such an important new building on this historic listed estate.

“The new Education Centre will provide a memorable experience while inspiring and energising students for years to come.”

Feilden+Mawson, which has a national reputation for work at Westminster, designed the centre in collaboration with landscape architect Kim Wilkie.

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The opening ceremony was perfomed by Prof Brian Cox and was attended by figures including the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, and the Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza.

Mr Bercow said: “Parliament has a responsibility to engage the public, and in particular young people, with its work. In an age of cynicism about and disengagement from politics, this responsibility becomes all the more important.”

Brian Cox said: “Much like science, democracy is one of the necessary foundations of society. This new centre draws on the fascinating history of UK democracy, bringing it to life with innovative technology and explaining its relevance to young people today. I hope many schoolchildren will be inspired by this fantastic new resource.”