GOVERNMENT FUNDING
FOR WAKING WATCH
AND CLADDING

All the details you require on the different funds set up by the Government for cladding remediation and waking watch replacement.

CLADDING FIRE SAFETY INFO HUB

GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR WAKING WATCH AND CLADDING

Reports reveal that the UK’s largest housebuilders will be paying over £200 million per year to the Government’s cladding tax. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget disclosed a tax levy of 4% on the profits of over £25 million of private developers to pay for the chargers of remediation work on properties across the UK.

Freeholders and developers have failed to live up to their expected outcome in funding remedial procedures or provisional measures. The National Fire Chiefs Council, along with other regulatory bodies and experts, have encouraged funding from the Government for remediation.

Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund

In 2019, the Government announced nearly £200 million to remove and replace the dangerous cladding from private high-rise residential buildings. The Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund covered the replacement cost of unsafe ACM cladding of buildings in England over 18m with a tolerance of 30cm less. The fund benefited the leaseholders who would have had to incur these service charges otherwise. The applications to this fund closed in late 2019. Guidance on this funding is available here.

Building Safety Fund

The Government declared the Building Safety Fund of £1 billion available for application to owners to remove non-ACM combustible cladding on 11th March 2020. This is in addition to the £600 million previously announced for unsafe ACM. More details on this funding can be found here.

Waking Watch Relief Fund

Further to this, the Government declared the Waking Watch Relief Fund (WWRF) of £30 million in December 2020. This fund targeted the high-rise buildings above 17.7m with dangerous cladding and aimed at protecting leaseholders from the expensive waking watch services by enabling the installation of common fire alarm systems aligning with the guidance on Simultaneous Evacuation. As stated in the guidance from the NFCC and regulatory bodies, a waking watch is to be used only for the shortest duration possible during the installation of a fire alarm. Full information on this fund can be found here.

Waking Watch Replacement Fund

Additional funding of £27 million was developed from the progress made from the first Waking Watch Relief Fund and is also part of the approach to building safety set out by the Secretary of State on 10th January 2022 in his statement to Parliament. The extra funding will protect more buildings and leaseholders from the costs of Waking Watch and enable the procedures to end the unnecessary adoption of Waking Watch services.

The fund aims to cover justifiable capital costs of alarms and their installation process and may also include recoverable VAT. The design of the common fire alarm systems needs to be according to the standards of BS 5839-1 for L5 Category systems to meet the fire safety objectives based on the risks present in the building. All fire alarm systems must be designed, installed, and authorized by qualified or competent people accredited by a third party.

 The fund does not cover the following activities:

–       Administrative fees, the management or project management. It only covers the installation costs of a common alarm system.

–       Waking watch costs.

–       The maintenance or repair charges of fire alarms while in place, removal costs where applicable, and conversion charges if configured into evacuation systems.

–       The costs of residual fire wardens or personnel assisting evacuation, if necessary, even with a fire alarm installed.

–       Unreasonable costs

Click here to read more on this fund.

The Waking Watch Fund Application

The Responsible Person for a building makes the application for the Waking Watch Fund. The fund’s distribution takes place through regional authorities and councils and centrally through the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), depending on the location. MHCLG’s guidance for the applications states that waking watches and alarms should be considered only as a short-term measure to manage the risk and not as an alternative to remediation of cladding and must install alarm systems as soon as possible once the funding is agreed.

A grant funding agreement must be signed once a decision on the eligibility of the building before the fund is made available. The funding is typically made in two instalments – a percentage (usually 50%) made available immediately and the remaining on the completion of the work. If an alarm has already been installed, full funding is provided in one instalment.

Does the funding meet the demand?

According to Stephen Mackenzie, the £30 million funding is inadequate as there are nearly 500 high-rise buildings with ACM cladding and several more non-ACM applications for Building Safety Fund. The Manchester and Liverpool Cladiators campaign group has also stated to the BBC that they had hoped for a fair solution providing more funding and details.

Lower-rise buildings with lower safety risks will secure protection from the remedial cladding removal works through a new scheme aimed at buildings between 11 and 18 metres. This scheme pays for removing cladding where applicable through low interest, long-term finance agreement backed by the Government. The latest updates on this funding can be found here.

For information on waking watch, V-Fire common fire alarm system, or building fire safety, get in touch with us today on 0345 88 88 333 or by clicking the button below to email us.