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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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The Government has today given the go-ahead for Buckingham Palace to undergo a 10-year overhaul, costing some £370 million, with ‘essential works’ to include replacing electrical wiring, water pipes and the heating system (installed in the aftermath of the Second World War), as well as improving visitor access.

The press statement doesn’t mention new kitchens or bathrooms, but I hope for our industry’s sake that at least some of these will be refurbished too.

The work is needed, if we are to protect one of Britain’s most prestigious buildings and one of the country’s most popular attractions, which more than half a million people visit during its Summer opening. With these visits and the millions of tourists flocking to the Palace’s gates every year to see the Changing of the Guard, it helps deliver a £multi-billion boost to the economy, so my view is that it will be money well spent.

The project seeks to prevent a serious risk of fire, flood and damage to both the building and the priceless Royal Collection of art belonging to the nation. Windsor Castle suffered a fire in 1992, which raged for nine hours and caused devastation to large parts of the building. The restoration took more than five years, and it is estimated that similar damage to Buckingham Palace could cost up to £250 million for a single wing.

Ancient electrics don’t sound very safe to me!

The phased programme will be sequenced wing-by-wing to enable the Palace to remain occupied and fully operational, and allow the Queen to carry on with her official duties for the country. Significant national events, such as the Changing of the Guard, Trooping of the Colour and Garden Parties will continue throughout the overhaul and the Palace will remain open to visitors.

I often receive releases from manufacturers in this industry that have donated all manner of goods to charity projects, to help those in need of a new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or appliances. What price for the kudos companies would gain by getting involved in this particular project and supplying the Royal Household with top-of-the-range new products?

I doubt that Palace approval of a supporting press release would be forthcoming, but I’m aware of how quickly the word can get around…

Worth a try perhaps?



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Jan Hobbs



18th November 2016

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