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Official Residences

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland where each of his official residences is located; and what the annual running cost is of each residence. (104137)

When in Northern Ireland I reside at Hillsborough Castle. The facilities at Hillsborough Castle are also used to provide official hospitality and overnight accommodation for members of the royal family, visiting dignitaries and diplomats. Other activities at the castle include departmental meetings, the annual garden party and citizenship ceremonies. In addition to its use by the Northern Ireland Office and other Government Departments, charities and local community groups can request to use the facilities, generally for fund raising purposes, and the castle and grounds are open at certain times of the year for guided tours.

The overall cost of running Hillsborough Castle in 2005-06 was £4,948,666.27. This includes an amount of £3.1 million for cost of capital.

I have no official residence in Great Britain.