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Company that refurbished Grenfell Tower also renovated student accommodation

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The company that was responsible for the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower also renovated student accommodation in Bath, according to their website.

The University of Bath Sports Training Village, which was not part of the Rydon refurbishment 

Rydon, which carried out renovations at Grenfell Tower in the summer of 2016, refurbished “500 beds and kitchens” at the University of Bath.

The work took place in “purpose built accommodation rooms both on and off campus.”

The University of Bristol, Norland College, Marlborough College, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Bristol Grammar School are also listed alongside multiple other education providers as “current and recent clients” on the company’s website.

In Bristol, Rydon “transformed” Brunel’s terminal for the Great Western Railway “into a 21st century launch pad for a new generation of businesses” in a joint project between Bristol City Council and the university.

NUS President Malia Bouattia brought the issue to attention on Twitter shortly after 1.30am today.

In a statement, the company say they are “shocked to hear of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower” and that their “immediate thoughts are with those that have been affected by the incident, their families, relatives and friends.”

The statement adds that the Grenfell refurbishment was carried out for KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation) on behalf of the Council, and that it “met all required building control, fire regulation and health & safety standards.”

The company is promising to “cooperate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their enquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time” but that “Given the ongoing nature of the incident and the tragic events overnight, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate or comment further at this stage.”

Rydon is not responsible for the cladding that had been fixed around the outside of the building, allegedly for insulation and aesthetic purposes.

The company that provided the cladding, Harley Facades Limited, is based in Sussex. 

It is not yet known what caused the fire, which engulfed the 24 storey tower block in West London in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

At least 17 people have been confirmed dead so far.

We have contacted Rydon for comment. 

UPDATE

The University of Bath has responded to The National Student's request for comment. Speaking to reporter Teuta Hoxha, the university said: 

“Alongside many others across the UK, our community has been watching the terrible Grenfell fire and its aftermath with shock and sadness and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

“As a University, the safety of our students, staff and visitors is paramount. We have invested £215 million in our campus, constructing new buildings and improving existing ones, ensuring each project is completed to the highest safety standards. We do not have any polyethylene cladding on University buildings.

“We employ a fire safety officer and our security, estates and accommodation teams are involved in weekly alarm tests and safety checks. Once an alarm is triggered we operate a full evacuation policy supervised by our on-campus security team who work closely with the local fire service.

“We have a comprehensive fire strategy that is kept under constant review, which includes signage, fire doors, lifts, fire alarms, evacuation plans and fire safety training for staff and students. In light of recent events, we are carrying out a further review of these processes. We already provide fire safety inductions for students but as part of our review we will be developing additional resources and guidance in time for their arrival in September.”

Additional reporting by Teuta Hoxha

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