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June 21, 2022

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Scotland highlights £900m funding gap for cladding remediation

As the move to identify and remove dangerous cladding on high-risk buildings continues across the UK following the Grenfell Tower fire and the inquiry’s findings, the Scottish Government has identified a £900million shortfall to carry out remediation work.

Identifying those buildings with potentially dangerous cladding is a key part of this process. The Scottish Government has been piloting a Single Building Assessment (SBA) approach, which is designed to identify what needs to be remediated on a building-by-building basis.

The initial strategy involved giving grants to homeowners to ensure these SBAs were carried out, however the approach was altered in May to offer SBAs directly, whereby the Government will take on the role of procuring surveyors and fire engineers to carry out assessments. This is designed to take the burden away from homeowners and speed up the process.

Around £240,000 has already been spent assessing the risks and work necessary on a number of high-rise blocks, but no survey reports have so far been completed, according to reports.

Qualified fire engineers and surveyors are being encouraged to be ready to meet new demands of this programme of work, with hundreds of blocks to be invited to join.

Funding for work to be carried out once dangerous cladding is identified is the second part of the remediation process. The Scottish Government has so far received £97.1m in 2021-22, and estimates it may receive another £300m as a share of already committed spending, but has underlined that “given the complexity and scale of this issue those resources might not be enough”.

According to The Sunday Post, the costs of the remediation process is set to reach £1billion, meaning there is currently a £900m funding gap (without inclusion of the expected £300m). Estimates indicate that over 400 buildings, including high-rises and schools, have potentially dangerous material on them.

Critics have urged the Scottish Government to act quickly, with progress of work being carried out to remediate buildings said to be too slow.

This article was originally published on IFSEC Global.

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