The mainly M&E works will take place in phases spread over ten years
Buckingham Palace is to undergo a 10-year restoration costing £369m of taxpayers’ cash.
The Queen will remain in residence during the works, which includes essential repairs and the replacement of miles of ageing cables, lead pipes, electrical wiring and boilers.
It will be paid for by a temporary increase in the amount of income the Royal Family creams from the Crown Estate, up to 25% from 15% of the landowner and developer’s net profit. The remainder of the Crown Estate’s profit goes to the Treasury.
The works are being carried out after an independent report concluded that without urgent work there was a risk of serious damage to the Palace and the historic items it houses.
Additionally, the programme of works will increase public access and improve visitor facilities, as well as making the Palace more energy efficient.
The 313 year-old palace will continue to host major events as normal, including its annual garden parties, investitures, Trooping the Colour, State Visits, Changing of the Guard and the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening.
The palace said it would award contracts for the work separately for each phase to minimise the financial and practical risks.
The most urgent work is expected to take two years and will focus on replacing key services in the basement including electrical and heating generation and distribution.
Detailed design work for the whole programme will run in parallel with these urgent works.
Following this, further work will be undertaken on a wing-by-wing basis, beginning with the East Wing, which faces the Mall, from April 2019.
The West Wing and State Apartments will be worked on throughout the ten years of the programme (two to three State Rooms at a time), so as to enable the Palace to open to over 500,000 visitors over the summer months as usual.
The Master of The Queen’s Household Tony Johnstone-Burt said: “Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and this programme is designed to extend its working life by a further fifty years. On completion of the work, we’ll have a Palace fit for purpose until 2067.”
BUCKINGHAM PALACE: IN FIGURES
- 775 rooms
- 19 state rooms
- 78 bathrooms
- 1,514 doors
- 760 windows
- 100 miles of electrical cabling
- 20 miles of heating pipework
- 10 miles of hot and cold water pipework
- 6,500 plug sockets
- 5,000 light fittings
- 330 fuse boxes
- 2,500 radiators
- 20 miles skirting board
- 30,000m² floorboards
- Hosts over 90,000 people each year
- Receives over 500,000 visitors during the annual Summer Opening