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Theresa May pledges £400m for replacement of tower-block cladding

Grenfell tower guido van nispen flickr
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The government has pledged £400 million to pay for the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding from tower blocks across the UK in the wake of Grenfell Tower fire

The cash will go to councils and housing associations currently facing large bills for stripping the cladding from high rises.

Speaking at prime minister’s questions today, Theresa May said it would be wrong if the cost of replacing the cladding meant housing providers had less money for maintenance works. 

May said the fire, in which 71 died last June, was ‘an unimaginable tragedy and we cannot let it happen again’.

She told MPs: ‘I can confirm today that government will provide up to £400 million to fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations.’

Privately owned tower blocks will not be covered by the government funding.

According to the government, fire services have checked more than 1,250 high-rises, identifying 158 where cladding should be stripped off. Work is underway at 104 blocks.

The prime minister’s pledge comes the day before the first of a series of major reports into what caused the fire. 

Judith Hackitt’s report into building safety regulations is expected to recommend tighter rules to prevent combustible materials being used in cladding; though it is unclear whether or not it will support an outright ban. 

The prime minister added that further details on the funding would be set out by the housing secretary later in the week.

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