Grenfell Tower fire: May pledges to fund cladding removal

  • Grenfell Tower fire: May pledges to fund cladding removal

Grenfell Tower fire: May pledges to fund cladding removal

Britain will spend £400 million stripping high-rise buildings of the unsafe cladding blamed for last year's Grenfell Tower fire which left 71 people dead, Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday.

Only buildings owned by councils and housing associations will qualify for funding, the government has said.

The cladding around the Grenfell tower block was deemed one of the key reasons why a fire in a fourth-floor flat spread so rapidly, killing 71 people in June previous year. Weeks after the fire, the government said survivors would be offered permanent furnished social housing within 12 months.

Theresa May confirmed the unsafe materials would be removed during Prime Minister's Questions earlier today.

'What was a national disaster is now becoming a national disgrace'.

She warned that the work to remove and replace the cladding should be done promptly alongside other needed improvements to social housing.

"I've worked closely with my right honourable friends, the chancellor and the housing secretary, and I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of risky cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400m".

The £400m sum was a best estimate, she said, adding: "I think the important thing to take from today is that we're committed to fully funding it".

He said: 'While the priority for councils has been getting on with what they need to do to ensure people are safe in their homes following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the LGA has been involved in public and private conversations with the Government about the financial implications.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, welcomed the announcement, and in a statement said: "It is great that the government has honoured its commitment from last summer to meet the unexpected exceptional costs for councils arising from major remedial fire safety work on high-rise buildings".