Westminster Abbey will lose up to £2million in revenue as a result of hosting the royal wedding which will take place next April.
It has been revealed that the Royal Family have will pay only a small sum to the 1,000 year old church, which one senior official involved in the planning describes as “a gesture – a token fee – and nothing more.”
According to the source, the payment “in no way covers the financial toll the wedding will take.”
The loss comes due to the need for the building and its precincts to be closed to the public for a week to prepare for the wedding. Preparation will include moving in media equipment and to ensure a ‘sterile’ security zone.
Westminster Abbey is funded charitably by visitor charges, public donations and a small portfolio of investments. Last year it earned £15.4million but cost £14million to run. The church receives no financial assistance from the Church Commissioners, the Crown or the Government.
An estimated £500,000 is expected to be lost in door takings, causing dozens of services to be cancelled, resulting in a further loss of thousands of pounds.
Purse strings have been tightened as senior personnel have introduced a series of measures to curb excess cost, including cancelling the staff Christmas party and stopping essential maintenance to areas such as staff and storage rooms.
A member of staff said “While Prince William’s wedding will be good for us in many ways in terms of publicity and future visits, many people who work here are very concerned at the financial impact it will have on the Abbey.
“There is a lot of grumbling from people who feel that the Royal Family should contribute more given the size of the occasion.”