What is the refurbishment project?
On the 18th November 2016, the UK government gave the go ahead for the 10 year refurbishment of Buckingham Palace beginning next April (2017), costing the taxpayer a total of £369 million. Reports claim that the building is in desperate need of repair, with the last renovation works taking place more than 60 years ago having been redecorated last in 1952.
The palace dates back to the 17th century and has 775 rooms. It was first used as a palace by Queen Victoria.
100 miles of electrical cable, 20 miles of heating pipework, and 33 year old boilers will all be replaced due to fears of potential fire and water damage. There are also reportedly more than 5,000 light fittings and 2,500 radiators to be replaced. Once the urgent work has been completed, further work will be undertaken on a wing-by-wing basis.
The refurbishment project has been controversial, especially at a time of austerity for the country, with people having views on both sides of the argument as to whether the government should fund the renovations through the Sovereign Grant or whether the work should be financed privately. A petition against public backing has already received more than 100,000 signatures, whilst others argue that the Crown Estate’s equivalent 85% tax rates has effectively paid for this renovation many times over by contributing £2.4bn to the Treasury in the last 10 years.
What construction jobs will the Buckingham Palace refurb create?
However the project is funded, it is clear that there will be multiple interior fit-out jobs that will be created by such a large development.
Jonathan Edwards, Principal Consultant in the UK Construction and Infrastructure team, commented:
“There are no official figures as to how much employment the Buckingham Palace project could provide within the interior fit-out sector, as the project is yet to go out to tender, however it is symptomatic of the market as a whole where there has been little or no reduction in companies looking for new staff post Brexit.”
“NES Global Talent are experiencing extremely high demand in a number of areas that are likely to be required for the Buckingham Palace project, including Estimators, Quantity Surveyors, Contracts Managers, Project Managers and Category Managers to name a few.”
“This is a trend that I can only see continuing with the volume of large scale projects I see getting signed off on a daily basis. Now is a great time to look at the variety of roles that we are recruiting for here at NES not just within my area of specialism - Interior Fit-Out and Facilities Management - but also within Civil Engineering, Main Contractor Build, Rail and Construction Consultancy to name a few.”