Pendleton Together Operating Limited (PTOL) has obtained government approval for its proposed financing to complete its fire safety works after a proposed council loan was blocked.
Salford City Council owns nine tower blocks which are managed under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract by PTOL and housing association Pendleton Together.
To date, PTOL has been working with Wates as its contractor for cladding replacement works.
Since the Grenfell Tower fire three years ago revealed the dangers of certain types of cladding systems, PTOL has been planning to replace the cladding and implement a range of safety measures including council-funded sprinkler systems.
In the interim, fire marshals continuing to patrol and monitor the buildings 24 hours a day, seven days a week and cladding has been stripped from the first three stories of all nine blocks to limit external fire spread.
Deputy city mayor John Merry said he was glad to see the conclusion of the protracted negotiations. “My gratitude also goes to our Salford tenants who have been incredibly patient during the last three years as we worked with PTOL as they developed a financial model to pay for the works and to secure funding to make homes safer,” he said.
“The council was initially prepared to loan PTOL the money needed but those plans were blocked. The PFI scheme was also not eligible for national remediation funds that other local authorities and housing associations have used.
“The good news is that the legal agreement we reached with Pendleton Together Operating Limited (PTOL) and private sector funders has been given government approval. The full programme will take more than two years to complete.”
Salford City Council is funding the installation of new sprinkler systems in all blocks in the region at a cost of £4m.
PTOL chair Tom Miskell said: “We’re delighted that our plans have now been approved and work has already started on works to remove the cladding. Contractors have continued to work safely during the recent restrictions and they are on schedule to have all the cladding removed before the end of the year. We’re aware that this has been a troubling time for residents and we’re pleased that the important work can progress.”