Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading resource for security and fire news in the industry. James was previously Editor of Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer magazine.
March 11, 2020

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The State of Physical Access Control in EMEA Businesses – 2020 Report

Budget 2020

Budget 2020: £1 billion Building Safety Fund announced to tackle Grenfell-style cladding

In the first budget of 2020, the newly-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that extra funds will be made available from the Government to support the removal of combustible Grenfell-style cladding on tower blocks. 

Experts had already commented that the original £600m would not be enough, even for those blocks with cladding that conforms to the Government’s strict rules. The Chancellor noted this in his speech, and has pledged an extra £1 billion in a new building safety fund.

The Chancellor said: “Two and a half years on, we’re still grappling with the tragic legacy of Grenfell. Expert advice is clear that new public funding must concentrate on removing unsafe materials from high rise residential buildings, so today I am creating a new building safety fund worth £1 billion.”

He followed on to say that all experts, committees (including the select committee) and the opposition agree that this is necessary. The funding will go “beyond ACM to make sure that all unsafe cladding will be removed for all social and residential buildings above 18m high”.

The Housing Secretary will look to spearhead these efforts in the housing sector.

The Government also pledged increased investment to national infrastructure projects across the UK, including in 4G and broadband coverage, green transportation methods, and billions of pounds worth of support to the NHS in efforts to tackle the coronavirus.


Full timeline of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and latest updates


Building Safety Fund reaction & responses

On the introduction of a building safety fund, Helen Hewitt, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to a £1bn building safety fund which will allow urgent work to be undertaken to make the UK’s housing safer. However, in order to safeguard millions of people, funding must also include provision for the replacement of fire doors, as well as cladding removal.

“We know that a significant number of councils in the UK have yet to replace inadequate fire doors, and that a number of doors still in use do not satisfy the 30-minute burn time standard.  This means that people remain at risk of fires spreading through the buildings they live in. The Government must support local authorities in replacing fire doors by providing central funding, and by giving clear and unambiguous guidance on fire door specification, maintenance and testing.”

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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Norman Whitehall
Norman Whitehall
March 11, 2020 1:58 pm

It’s 18 metres not 80 metres guys

John Maxfield
John Maxfield
March 16, 2020 11:40 am

Remind me, why 18 metres? So buildings smaller than 18 metres don’t get any financial assistance?

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