Salford City Council has agreed a revised deal with Pendleton Together Operating, the company that manages nine residential blocks on behalf of the council, to unlock funds for safety improvements to the buildings after PTOL secured a loan from parent company, Together Housing.
Deputy Salford Mayor John Merry has approved the agreement, which is subject to sign-off from Homes England and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, intended to speed up the removal of unsafe aluminium composite cladding.
Pendleton Together, a subsidiary of Together Housing, estimates that the total cost of the remediation work is around £32m, which it would fund under the proposed deal, a council report said.
A contribution of up to £4m from the council has been set aside to pay for the installation of sprinklers.
The nine blocks concerned are:
- Whitebeam Court
- Malus Court
- Beech Court
- Salix Court
- Spruce Court
- Holm Court
- Hornbeam Court
- Thorn Court
- Plane Court
Work to remove cladding from some of the buildings is already underway.
The blocks, located between Salford Crescent and Salford Shopping City, were refurbished by Keepmoat as part of a private finance initiative agreed in 2012.
Following the Grenfell disaster, the blocks were found to have been clad using ACM, the same cladding used on the Grenfell Tower. The council has subsequently sought to make the buildings safer.
However, in 2018, the Government said that Pendleton Together was ineligible to apply for a share of the £400m set aside for the removal of ACM cladding nationwide due to its status as a PFI (private finance initiative), which provides dividends for shareholders.
The Government also refused to sanction Salford Council’s request for a £25m loan, which it planned to give to Pendelton Together to start the work.
Cllr John Merry, said this week: “First of all, our thoughts are with residents who have had to wait for a full solution. They have been very patient and we would like to thank them for their cooperation during this unsettling time.
“Unfortunately, the government has thrown many challenges in our way which has hampered the speed at which the cladding could be replaced. It has been incredibly frustrating.
“We have had to work through complex legal routes to get funding secured with our partners at PTOL. Thankfully we have now achieved this so PTOL can speed up the process to get the cladding replaced for our residents.”