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Taxpayer to fund £370m Buckingham Palace refit

By Aine Fox

Buckingham Palace is to undergo a major 10-year refurbishment, costing nearly £370 million.

It had been thought the Queen may have to move out temporarily, but a 10-year phased option will see the palace remain open and the monarch in residence throughout the works.

The refit, described by officials as "essential", will include replacing boilers and miles of pipes and wiring when it begins in April next year, subject to Parliamentary approval.

The money will come from a 66% increase in the Sovereign Grant - the funding formula for the monarchy's official duties - for the 10-year period, with the total works estimated to cost £369m.

When the work is finished in 2027 the grant should be returned to its current level of 15%, a review by the Royal Trustees recommended.

Deputy Keeper of the Privy Purse Mike Stevens described the plan as the "most cost-effective way to fund this essential project, by synchronising the release of funds with the phased approach to carrying out the physical works".

Master of The Queen's Household Tony Johnstone-Burt said the refurbishment would ensure the palace was "fit for purpose" until 2067, adding: "We take the responsibility that comes with receiving these public funds extremely seriously indeed; equally, we are convinced that, by making this investment in Buckingham Palace now, we can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come."

Belfast Telegraph


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