Property general maintenance – Frogmore Cottage, Windsor

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By Sarah Schneider

The following summary is taken from the Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19, printed 24 June 2019. © Crown copyright 2019

General Maintenance

“Property general maintenance costs comprise preventative/planned and reactive work. Preventative or planned maintenance includes small areas of redecoration and other repair work costing less than £6,000, regular inspections of lifts, boilers and other equipment and plant, work arising from in-house inspections, and routine tasks such as sweeping roofs and paths and clearing rubbish. Reactive maintenance includes minor repairs to blocked drains, leaking roofs and so on. Expenditure on general maintenance after VAT recoveries was £5.1 million in 2018-19 (2017-18: £4.1 million).”

Major Projects in the Year

    Frogmore Cottage, Windsor (£2.4m)

  • “The scheme consisted of the reconfiguration and full refurbishment of five residential units in poor condition to create the official residence for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their family. The works started on-site in November 2018 and were substantially completed by the end of March 2019.”

Harry and Meghan’s home was renovated with the profits of the Crown Estate. The money came from the Sovereign Grant.

What is The Sovereign Grant?

According to Full Fact:

The renovations were paid for out of something called the Sovereign Grant. As the name suggests, this is a grant paid to the Sovereign (the Queen) by the government.

The Queen owns a big property portfolio called the Crown Estate. All the profits from this go to the Treasury which then returns 25% to the Queen.

So is this taxpayer money?
Technically the Sovereign Grant isn’t taxpayer money. It does flow through the state Treasury, but it is generated from the profits made by the Crown Estate, not from taxes.

The Sovereign Grant can only be spent on official expenditure such as staff costs, official travel and property maintenance. As Frogmore Cottage is an official royal residence, renovations were paid for out of the Sovereign Grant.

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Last updated on July 3rd, 2019

References

Full Fact Link
Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19 Link