College cladding is safe and ‘not the type’ used on Grenfell Tower

Blackpool and the Fylde College's  Bispham campus
Blackpool and the Fylde College's Bispham campus
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Cladding at Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Bispham campus is safe, a spokesman has confirmed.

It comes following a deadly blaze at Grenfell Tower in London earlier this month which, it was claimed, spread so easily and rapidly because the cladding was made from flammable material.

The college’s cladding is understood to be made from metal with a plastic covering, and director of estates Stuart Crane said: “Following the recent tragedy, the college has sought and received reassurance about the current cladding systems used on our various buildings across the college’s estate.

“We have been advised that the cladding systems installed at the college are not of the type that appear to have contributed to the recent tragedy, and we are assured that all cladding in place at Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) has robust fire resistant properties.

“Additionally, at B&FC we have strong fire protection and alarm systems in place, and we run regular tests and fire drills, with full building evacuation achieved in less than five minutes.

“B&FC takes fire prevention very seriously and regularly reviews its procedures and policies. The college pays full attention to current ongoing investigations and associated recommendations and we will keep our position under view, taking advice or action as deemed appropriate.”

On Saturday, The Gazette revealed how cladding inspections were underway at two Lancashire mental health centres in the wake of the 27-storey Grenfell Tower inferno.

Health bosses confirmed reviews were taking place at The Harbour, in Marton, and Guild Lodge secure mental health unit in Preston.

The Rydon Group, which carried out an £8.6m refurb on Grenfell Tower, has worked on some Lancashire Care buildings, but have never fitted cladding.

“If any cladding is found to be a risk it will be removed and replaced,” a spokesman for the trust said.

A national safety operation is urgently taking place to identify buildings with cladding like that used on Grenfell Tower.

So far, the Government has received samples from 60 high-rise buildings in 25 local authority areas where the cladding has failed safety tests. None are in Lancashire.

The June 14 tragedy left 79 people dead or missing presumed dead and many injured.

Hundreds more have been displaced, and NHS England said on Monday that one person remained in critical care at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.

A further three people are still receiving treatment at the city’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and King’s College Hospital.