Prince Charles loan 'left charity foundation with debt'

A £20 million loan taken out by the Prince of Wales to help save a stately home left his Charities Foundation with a multimillion-pound debt following the slump in land development prices, it emerged.

The purchase of Dumfries House in Ayrshire for £45 million in 2007 was financed with the help of the loan taken out by the Foundation, which funds the Prince's 20 charities.



The security for the loan was land around the property on which Charles wants to build a model community along the lines of Poundbury in Dorset, as part of a regeneration project to boost business and employment opportunities in East Ayrshire.



As a result of the crash in land development prices, the value of the greenfield site plummeted to less than £9 million, leaving the heir to the throne in the position of a homeowner in negative equity, according to The Times.



In a statement, the Prince's spokesman insisted the loan had not put any of his charities at risk.



He said it had "involved, like any entrepreneurial activity, an element of risk, but the risks were manageable and fully covered".



Returns on the property deal were already proving "substantial", he added.



He said the purchase of the house, nearby land and the preservation of its collection of Chippendale furniture for future generations was only made possible with the Foundation's contribution.



"The loan taken out by the Foundation in 2007 was fully disclosed at the time and has since been refinanced and partly paid off.



"The value of the land bought with the property has since declined - a reflection of a nationwide decline in property and land values which were not foreseen in 2007 - but there is no intention to sell the land.



"Quite the opposite. The land will be developed as part of a major regional heritage-led regeneration project which the Prince hopes will play an important part in creating much-needed business and employment opportunities in East Ayrshire for many years to come.



"His Royal Highness is in this for the long-term, for the benefit of the country's heritage and, he hopes, the local economy and communities."



The statement continued: "When The Prince of Wales commenced his property development at Poundbury in Dorset some 20 years ago, he was told that it would not work and was too risky.



"We believe that the same mould-breaking and beneficial outcome across a broad spectrum achieved at Poundbury will be repeated with the rescue of Dumfries House and the associated property development and economic regeneration plan at nearby Knockroon."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager - Events, Digital, Offline

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable