Scotland confirms £900m remediation funding gap for dangerous cladding

Scotland is facing a £900m shortfall in the rush to identify and remediate dangerous cladding across its homes, schools and hospitals.

The Scottish Government has so far received £97.1m to remediate dangerous buildings of cladding, via the Barnett Formula which determines payments from Westminster to the devolved governments.

However, Scotland needs around £1bn to both assess its buildings and remediate the dangerous ones, according to the Sunday Post. That figure was confirmed to Construction News by the Scottish Government.

As of October last year, 23 housing blocks in Scotland were still covered in aluminium composite material (ACM), which was partly blamed for the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, where 72 people were killed. CN asked the Scottish Government for an update on the number of blocks, and other public buildings with ACM on them, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Nearly 400 additional buildings are fitted with high pressure laminate (HPL) cladding, including 244 schools, 95 housing blocks and 27 colleges and universities. In 2019, advisers to the UK government called for “immediate action” to remove HPL from high rises especially.

If installed with combustible insulation, HPL panels with European classification B, C and D would be “very unlikely to adequately resist the spread of fire”, they warned.

UK housing secretary Michael Gove has pushed contractors, manufacturers and developers to commit to mending defects on buildings they built up to 30 years ago, threatening to land them with sanctions it they do not pay up. He has since blasted the Construction Products Association (CPA) for failing to commit to the plan, although this does not affect Scottish companies as the policy applies in England only.

They also will not be subject to the Building Safety Levy, which will be placed on all construction companies to fund the remediation of so called ‘orphan buildings’ or buildings where the developer has gone bust or cannot be clarified.

A spokesperson for the UK government said building safety is a devolved matter and the responsibility of the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Irish Executive.

“We have rightly secured an industry-wide agreement that will make sure developers pay to fix the problems they created in England,” they added.

“We continue to work closely and collaboratively with the devolved governments and are in dialogue with the Scottish Government on the concerns raised.”

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