The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every sector of business this year, and those who depend on tourism have been particularly hard-hit. Historic Royal Palaces announced Tuesday that they have lost £95 million in income due to the pandemic-related closures.
Historic Royal Palaces is a totally self-funded charity and receives no funding from the Crown or the government, therefore relying on visitor and member income to fund the six buildings they look after: Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Banqueting House, and Hillsborough Castle.
The charity reports an 85 per cent reduction in their usual income because of the pandemic and posted a plea for help on their social media accounts.
“Just like some of us, the palaces are very old and quite high-maintenance, and with everything they’ve been through we think they deserve all the care and attention we can offer!” Historic Royal Palaces posted on social media. “The basic work looking after our sites costs us £10 million a year alone, and last financial year we spent £37 million on conservation and maintenance.”
Although the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle will re-open their doors this week with the appropriate social distancing measures in place, the indoor portions of the buildings will remain closed. The rest of Historic Royal Palaces’ properties are closed, and no opening date has been set.
Welcoming visitors to these outdoor spaces again is undoubtedly good news, but ticket sales to UK residents will be a small drop in the bucket. The charity shared that “the collapse of international tourism as a result of the pandemic means we’ve got a very long way to go until we can hope to fully recover. We urgently need your support.”
Whether it’s visiting the gardens now, making a donation, purchasing something from the online shop, or becoming a member, Historic Royal Palaces invited people to help them “protect these palaces, so that future generations can enjoy these wonderful old spaces for centuries to come.”