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Reporting Contingent Liabilities: Guarantee to Back a Borrowing Facility for Historic Royal Palaces

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 19 January 2022

The departmental minute laid today is in respect of an extension to the period whereby Government acts as a guarantor on behalf of Historic Royal Palaces for a borrowing facility of up to £4 million to meet short-term cash flow requirements.

The renewed guarantee will be available until 19 January 2027 and Historic Royal Palaces will only enter into borrowing facilities at such times and within such monetary limits as the Department shall agree.

The guarantee provides a safeguard protecting Historic Royal Palaces’ business from a sudden and serious decline in economic conditions affecting Historic Royal Palaces’ admissions income, if such an event should occur, until the savings from their planned rationalisation measures could come through. It would be used only in extreme circumstances. Until the expiration of the previous renewal in September 2021, the guarantee had been in place since 2002 and prior to spring 2020 had not been called on.

Historic Royal Palaces is a charity established by royal charter. By virtue of a contract entered into on 1 April 1998, it carries out the functions of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport under section 21 of the Crown Lands Act 1851 of managing the unoccupied royal palaces.

A copy of the departmental minute will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.