The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, today (Tuesday 28th January 2014) released its latest Sovereign Grant report – which highlights the desperate need for better estates management of the royal palaces and estates. Never has there been a stronger case for the use of effective estate management software or mobile surveying software.
Headlines from the report which have been widely reported in the media include;
- a £50 million backlog of repairs
- 39% of the royal estate is deemed to be below what is deemed to be an acceptable condition
The report goes into greater detail to the extent of the backlog in maintenance and repairs which include;
- 60 year old boilers
- Buckets in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace collecting rain water
- Crumbling masonry
- Decoration and wiring going back to the 1950s
- Holes in the roof of Windsor Castle
The report warned: ‘The Household needs to get better at planning and managing its budgets for the longer term.’
The Royal Estate encompasses about 360 buildings including Windsor Castle, Clarence House, St James Palace and parts of Kensington Palace.
It was even more critical of what it described as the Royal Household’s failure to look after ‘nationally important heritage properties adequately’.
The accounts committee is now demanding that staff ‘get a much firmer grip’ on how they plan to address the repairs backlog.
Looking after heritage properties for future generations is no easy task. The National Trust for Scotland recognises the need to effectively manage its property estate and in 2013 turned to Kykloud to enable it to carry out a full condition assessments of its huge estates to gain a better understanding of their exact condition. It has used our mobile building surveying software and asset management tools to gain a better understanding of the exact condition of its estate and in turn create data driven future maintenance plans in order to ensure it protects the hugely important properties and estates or future generations whilst working within a realistic budget and timeframe.
Perhaps the palace should look to do the same?
Kykloud could certainly help the palace to carry out a complete condition assessment of its estate to find out exactly what work needs to be completed immediately. Our sophisticated software could create detailed lifecycle maintenance and repair plans for its entire estate to ensure that leaking roofs and outdated electrics become a thing of the past so that the Royal estate will stand the test of time for generations to come.