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McAlpine’s Big Ben contract doubles to £61m

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The cost of refurbishing Big Ben’s tower over the next four year has more than doubled to £61m.

The jump in projected cost was revealed as Sir Robert McAlpine was officially named contractor for the complex restoration of the 96m high Elizabeth Tower.

Renovating the tower, its bell and four clock faces had been initially estimated to cost £29m but rose after McAlpine gained a better understanding of the scale of conservation work involved, according to a House of Commons statement.