£369 million makeover for Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is to undergo a ten-year refit at an estimated cost of £369m to the taxpayer, the palace has confirmed.

The work deemed most critical on the 17th Century building will begin in April next year and the Queen will continue to remain in residence.

Prime Minister Theresa May and the Chancellor are said to approve of the plans to renovate but it will need Parliamentary approval.

The decision to undertake the building works was made after an independent report found that without urgent work there is a "serious risk of fire and water damage".

If planning permission is granted then Buckingham Palace will have solar panels fitted onto the roof as part of the major overhaul of the iconic building.

Guests at a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace earlier this month Credit: Reuters

The Treasury confirmed the funds had been granted for the overhaul with Chief Secretary, David Gauke saying they "will ensure every penny spent achieves the greatest value for money."

The estimated £369m cost of the renovations will be funded by a temporary increase in the Sovereign Grant from 15 percent to 25 percent of Crown Estate net income.

Many pipes are made of lead and need replacing as do the boilers

The palace will remain fully operational throughout the building works period.

Staff living at the palace will be moved to temporary accommodation to be built in the garden.

The Queen is expected to temporarily move bedrooms within the palace while the work is carried out.

The historic building - first used as a royal palace by Queen Victoria - has not been redecorated since 1952, the year the Elizabeth II ascended.

Details of the project were announced at Buckingham Palace today by the Master of The Queen's Household Tony Johnstone-Burt who said the ten-year plan "offers the best value for money".

The water storage tank on the roof is one of the issues to have been highlighted in the survey

A technical survey that was carried out on the building identified that the most urgent work needs to be carried out within the next two years.

The report highlighted the urgent need of replacing electrical wiring, some of which is over 60-years-old and puts the Palace at a higher risk of fire.

Specialists on heritage preservation say the Palace's boilers being over 33-years-old could compromise conditions to preserve the Royal Collection of art.

  • Buckingham Palace in numbers

  • 775 rooms

  • 19 state rooms

  • 78 bathrooms

  • 1,514 doors

  • 760 windows

  • 100 miles of electrical cabling

  • 20 miles of heating pipework

  • 6,500 plug sockets

  • 5,000 light fittings

  • 330 fuse boxes

  • 2,500 radiators

  • 20 miles of skirting board

  • 30,000 sq m of floorboards

  • 90,000 people are hosted by the Palace each year

  • 500,000 people visit during the annual Summer Opening