Buckingham Palace urged to open all year round to pay for ‘absurd’ £369m refurbishment

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Other key tourism buildings or destinations, such as the White House and the Vatican, do so in order to pay for upkeep and bring in tourism. At the weekend, the Palace welcomed its first paying visitors since March 2020 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to “The Palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s.

“The building’s infrastructure is in urgent need of a complete overhaul to prevent long-term damage to the building and its contents.

“The most cost-effective way to replace these essential services, and to ensure that The Palace is fit for purpose for the next 50 years, is to undertake a phased programme of works over ten years.”

The royal website added that the project which began in April 2017 would be funded by a temporary increase in the Sovereign Grant, which comes from the taxpayer.

Due to the Platinum Jubilee, the cost of the project was increased from the original cost of £360million and therefore the money taken from the taxpayer also increased.

The chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith said that the building is a key site for the country and must not be ignored but a change is needed given that the Queen stays at Windsor most of the time.

Speaking to Sky News the Chief Executive said: “MPs for years have been saying you need to open up the palace to tourists all year round.

“With that ticket revenue that you raise you’ll then be able to fund these sorts of repairs and restorations without coming back to the Treasury.”

Such concerns are being taken up by more and more Brits as inflation and the cost of living soars and causes financial problems for many households across the nation.

Mr Smith said: “We have hospitals and schools, police services struggling to make ends meet.

“We have arguments about public sector pay being kept down and all the while we’re pouring millions and millions of pounds into fixing this one building.

“It’s an absurd waste of money.”

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He added: “The White House is open to tourists most of the year, the home of the President of the United States.

“So, at any point Buckingham Palace should be open all year round, but it is now largely a ghost building, people don’t live there.

“The Queen is in Windsor, Charles lives in Clarence House or Highgrove or one of his other many homes, and it is largely just housing staff as far as I’m aware.”

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