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Buckingham Palace to get £369m taxpayer-funded retrofit

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Buckingham Palace is set to have a £369 million refurbishment over ten years, it was reported today (18 November) 

The Queen, Duke of Edingburgh and other resident royals will remain in the palace throughout the restoration, which will be funded by the taxpayer, according to reports.

It is understood the work is need to avoidcatastrophic building failure’ in the future.

Some 100 miles of electrical cabling, much of it 60 years old, as well as 30 miles of water pipes, 6,500 electrical sockets, 5,000 light fittings and 2,500 radiators will be replaced during the work.

Starting with the east wing at the front of the palace, each of the palace’s four wings will be refitted one at a time, allowing the royal household to remain operational at all times. 

In a bid to reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 40 per cent, solar panels will be installed on the roof - a move expected to reduce the annual public contrivution to the palace by £3.4 million. The scheme will also include 30,000m² of floorboards being lifted. 

The £369 million needed for the work was approved following a review by the Royal Trustees - prime minister Theresa May, chancellor Philip Hammond and keeper of the privy purse Alan Reid - and is expected to be ratified by parliament in the next six months. 

The restoration will be funded by an increase in the Sovereign Grant - the money given to the queen from the profits made by her property portfolio, The Crown Estate

This means profits the queen gets from The Crown Estate will increase from 15 to 25 per cent, amounting to £76.1 million for 2017/18, while the works are carried out. 

The remaining profits from The Crown Estate are paid into the treasury each year.  Tony Johnstone-Burt, master of the queen’s household, said the work would result in a palace ’fit for purpose until 2067’. 

The palace has 775 rooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

The work is expected to begin in spring 2017. As yet there is no information on which architect will carry out the scheme. 

 

 

 

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