Cas­tle con­firms re­open­ing date

Safety mea­sures in­clude use of timed tick­ets

Windsor & Eton Express - - News - By David Lee davidl@baylis­me­ @DavidLee_BM

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.

These in­clude:

W The in­tro­duc­tion of timed tick­ets at all sites in or­der to man­age vis­i­tor num­bers. Vis­i­tors must book tick­ets in ad­vance through­ets as ca­pac­i­ties will be lim­ited.

W Mark­ers and signs to help vis­i­tors main­tain so­cial dis­tanc­ing, with staff on hand to man­age the flow of vis­i­tors in queuing ar­eas and in­door spa­ces.

W The in­tro­duc­tion of oneway routes in some ar­eas.

W Hand sani­tiser sta­tions along the vis­i­tor routes.

W En­hanced clean­ing regimes.

W Per­spex screens at all till points, with pay­ment by card only.

W All front-of-house staff fully trained in COVID-se­cure pro­ce­dures.

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.

Visit­ets to book.

Wind­sor Cas­tle. Ref:132644-2

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