The tourist areas at both Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are to undergo a £37m revamp, the Royal Collection has announced. The revamp will include a new cafe to be built in the medieval undercroft at Windsor Castle and the outside space at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be redeveloped. It will also include two purpose-built learning centres and is aimed at improving the visitor facilities and giving the public greater acces to two of the Queen’s official residences.
Jonathan Marsden, who is the director of the Royal Collection Trust, said: “People have been visiting Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse for centuries and now more than 1.5 million do so every year. We want everybody to have a proper sense of arrival, to be able to make choices about how they go about their visits. We will interpret the palaces and collections in new ways, open up new spaces to the public and we’re going to create two purpose-built learning centres.”
The revamp will be funded by the Royal Collection Trust charity, which does not receive any public funding but instead generates income from the admissions to the official royal residences and gift shop sales.
Windsor Castle will see the castle’s original entrance hall reinstated and the public will be given greater access to the ground floor state apartments. The historic brickwork from the undercroft was first revealed following the restoration after the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse will have a new family room created inside the palace, the storytelling of the state apartments will be improved and the Abbey Strand building, which are just outside the palace gates, will be converted to a learning centre. The redevelopment of the outside space will aim to reconnect the palace to the city.
The work will begin in early 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Both residences will remain open to visitors during this time.