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Redevelopment of RUSI Headquarters Begins

News, 29 January 2021
The redevelopment of the Royal United Services Institute’s historic headquarters in Whitehall will begin in April 2021. The modernisation programme will turn the classical building, designed for a 19th-century institution, into a state-of-the-art facility fit for a 21st-century think tank.

Over the next 18 months, RUSI’s headquarters at 61 Whitehall will be renovated. Purpose-built for the Institute in 1896, the magnificent Grade II* listed structure has hosted leading thinkers and officials in security and defence for over 120 years.

The building’s location – on the site of the old Palace of Whitehall and in the heart of UK government – ensures that RUSI will have convening power for years to come, welcoming those working in government departments, the private sector, academia and beyond.

The building is home to RUSI’s Library for Military History, a collection of 30,000 volumes and rare works, consulted by scholars and researchers for generations.

The redevelopment will restore RUSI’s historic features in line with the guidelines and supervision of Historic England while also including modern facilities, upgraded communications equipment, additional space for events and working areas for our staff. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.

Interim Arrangements for Our Members and Stakeholders

During the renovation, RUSI will continue its activities as per normal.

Events

Our events have already moved online during the coronavirus pandemic. Once government restrictions are lifted, we will resume activities with a mix of online and in-person events (further details for in-person events will be provided in due course). Our full events schedule is available and regularly updated here.

Temporary Home for Staff

Despite the current restrictions, RUSI has maintained an active research agenda and will continue to do so during the refurbishment. RUSI’s staff have been temporarily working at 123 Pall Mall, where we will convene small meetings and events when restrictions are eased.

Services to Members

We remain committed to our members. In addition to our expanded online events schedule, Members will continue to receive our publications and research outputs without interruption. For further information about your membership, please contact: membership@rusi.org

RUSI Library of Military History

Our collections will be in storage during renovations. Unfortunately, during this period the Library will not be accessible.

Moving into Our Newly Refurbished Home

RUSI remain committed to delivering world-class research and events on defence, security and geopolitics.

The planned renovation will:

  • Restore 61 Whitehall’s original heritage features to a high standard.
  • Add state-of-the-art conference, media and meeting rooms.
  • Renovate and upgrade the library.
  • Add to and extend the space available for learning.
  • Redevelop and extend the upper floors of the building.
  • Provide modern work facilities for our staff.

How You Can Help

We are on course to complete the project by the end of 2022.

Fundraising for this project began in 2018 and has so far raised just shy of £7 million, but the campaign to raise funds is continuing. For further information, please click here.  

If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact Paul Summerfield, Director of Development at RUSI: PaulS@rusi.org

Re-developing the RUSI building

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