05:10PM, Monday 13 July 2020
Windsor Castle (Ref:132615-21)
Windsor Castle is set to reopen to the public this month but the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) admitted COVID-19 has posed the ‘greatest challenge’ in the charity’s history.
The Royal residence has been closed for more than three months due to the ongoing public health crisis.
But on Thursday, July 23, it will open its doors alongside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh, and Royal Collection Trust shops.
The RCT, which manages the public opening of the Queen’s official residences, said it is anticipating to make a £30million loss by the end of 2020/21.
A spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has posed by far the greatest challenge to Royal Collection Trust in the charity’s history.
“The closure to the public of Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh has had a very significant and serious impact on our finances, as we are entirely funded by visitor income from admissions and related retail sales.
“In the short term, the impact has been significant. Income expectations for the financial year have been revised from the £77 million originally forecast to around £13 million.”
The Royal Collection Trust has taken out a £22million loan to enable it to continue operating but the spokesperson added it is ‘inevitable’ staff costs will need to be reduced.
A number of safety measures are set to be introduced to ensure the safe reopening of Windsor Castle.
The Palaces, Galleries and Royal Collection Trust shops will reopen five days a week with the venues remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The online ticket office reopened on Wednesday.
Visit www.rct.uk/tickets to book.
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