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£1 Billion Building Safety Fund - Does Your High-Rise Qualify?

on Friday, 03 July 2020.

On 26 May 2020, the Government announced the availability of a £1 billion Building Safety Fund (Fund) designed to support landlords removing dangerous cladding from their residential buildings.

Registration for the Fund opened on 1 June 2020. The deadline for registrations is 31 July 2020, so it is important to act now.

What Is a Non-ACM Cladding System?

Aluminium composite materials (ACM) are often used in cladding systems, and were present in the cladding used on Grenfell Tower before the disaster in 2017. Non-ACM cladding includes other metal composite panels, high pressure laminate, render and timber wall systems where these also fall foul of fire safety standards.

The Fund is designed to ensure the safety of residents and to protect them from receiving significant

Do I Qualify?

You must be a building owner, or an entity which is responsible for the building's safety. The building itself must be:

  • residential (either private or social sector),
  • at least 18 metres in height,
  • have (or may have) non-ACM cladding systems as part of the external wall system.

Before registering, the Government expects those applying to have explored every opportunity to fund the work before seeking to obtain the Fund from the Government or passing on costs to their leaseholders.

 

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What Is Covered By the Fund?

The Fund covers costs which could be attributed to the capital costs of the project. Ongoing revenue costs, such as the cost of interim safety measures, are not eligible. The Fund will provide a grant to cover the ‘reasonable’ cost of eligible items only.

Reasonable costs are deemed to be works directly related to the replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems including:

  • access (eg scaffolding, mast climber etc) (only where apportioned appropriately and directly related to qualifying works),
  • removal and disposal of existing non-ACM cladding,
  • replacement materials,
  • labour and reasonable on-costs to the contractor.

The Fund does not cover:

  • works which are not directly related to the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems, even where these may be planned to be undertaken at the same time (eg redecoration, general maintenance, internal works, repair or renewal costs),
  • other structural works which are not directly related to the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems,
  • other necessary fire safety works which are not related to an unsafe non-ACM cladding system,
  • operational running costs, including those associated with interim measures such as waking watches.

Can I Use the Fund for Commercial Buildings?

If you have a mixed-use residential and commercial development, then you can apply to the Fund. If your building is purely non-residential, then you cannot.

How Can VWV Help?

We have sector-specific knowledge and a detailed understanding of the technical and legal issues that affect a construction project. Please do get in touch if you would like advice in relation to the Fund and how it could help you.


If you require specialist legal advice relating to your accessibility to the Fund, please contact Jason Prosser in our Real Estate team on 07766 304 955, or complete the form below.

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