Online Editions

1st Jul, 2022

Stratford Leisure Centre has 'similar' cladding to Grenfell Tower but building 'not excessive fire risk'

PART of Stratford Leisure Centre has been found with similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower.

The discovery was made after the Government asked all councils to check residential and public buildings which for any flammable product like that used on the London tower block.

And inspectors found some of the leisure centre was covered in a similar material during the £5million centre revamp around two years ago.

Stratford District Council – which owns the centre but contracts out the service to fitness company Everyone Active – plan to seek further advice but say risk is minimal as the part of the centre affected is above the swimming pool.

Head of community services Tony Perks said: “Stratford Leisure Centre has been checked and there are areas of cladding, but the cladding type and location are not considered to present an excessive fire risk.”

Only last month the Bridgefoot centre was named named Leisure Centre of the Year at the Flame Awards – the Oscars of the health and fitness sector.

All other buildings in the district have been found to have ‘no cladding of concern’.

This includes schools, and on the back of this Warwickshire County Council chiefs has announced there will be no fire safety testing on materials in school buildings.

A county council spokesperson said: “We are currently undertaking work to review our fire safety, and ensuring fire risk assessments are up-to-date across schools.

“No cladding of concern has been found on our schools and therefore testing has not been required.”

Sprinkler systems are installed in six of the newer built schools across the county, but there are no immediate plans to install them in older buildings.

The checks follow the Grenfell Tower tragedy which to date is thought to have claimed up to 80 lives. Fire safety has since been under review in schools, hospitals, colleges and other public buildings across the country.

South Warwickshire NHS Trust has carried out a full assessment of buildings and confirmed none have the same type of cladding used on Grenfell Tower. An additional £80,000 was included in this year’s hospitals budget, specifically to address fire safety.

Warwickshire College has carried out an assessment of all its buildings.

John Vickery, director of estates, said: “We can confirm that the cladding used to insulate teaching and residential blocks is safe and has been checked by both the Warwickshire County Council Fire Protection Inspector and our insurers.”

Stratford College has also assessed buildings and fire safety.

Principle Andrew Cropley said: “The cladded blocks are rated at AA, the highest possible standard. This provides a two hour resistance to fire.

“The building has an alarm system and every room includes a smoke alarm. Each staircase has an evacuation chair for disabled occupants.”

The college also confirmed that in a recent drill the building was evacuated in just 3.5 minutes.”

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