Council to remove Grenfell cladding from flats on Bridge School campus

Islington Town Hall. Photograph: Islington Council.

Islington Council last night voted to replace unsafe cladding of a similar type used at Grenfell tower from flats on the Bridge School campus on Hungerford Road.

The Town Hall will use earmarked grant funding of just under £3m to replace the aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from flats leased to the Guinness Trust on the same site as the Lower Holloway special needs school.

The council has promised that the material with which it will replace it “will provide an enhanced insulated and environmentally friendly building.”

Cllr Andy Hull (Lab, Highbury West), executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said: “In light of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, we are proposing that additional funding  be released so necessary fire safety work can be carried out to remove ACM cladding on the Bridge School campus.

“The flats are leased by the Guinness trust, and Islington Council owns the freehold. For some time now, the building has required a 24-hour waking watch and a communal alarm system.

“It’s high time for that cladding to be removed and replaced. The council will pay for that to happen, commencing in April.”

The inquiry into the 2017 Grenfell fire heard that ACM cladding was the main reason that the fire spread, with the blaze climbing the outside of the building and spreading to all four sides within minutes.

The government announced in July that it would fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on private sector residential buildings of over 18m, at an estimated cost of £200m.