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Grenfell Tower cladding found on Edinburgh student halls


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The same type of cladding that led to the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been found on student halls in Edinburgh.

Bainfield Halls in Fountainbridge, which house students from Edinburgh Napier University, has been fitted out with the same “wooden effect” exterior cladding that's been blamed for the blaze in London, inspectors have found.

The material is now being removed from the exterior of the halls, and work is expected to take four weeks. Residents are not being evacuated.

There are currently around 30 students living in the halls, with that number expected to rise up to 200 on the weekend, as more people arrive for summer schools.

The cladding is made from Reynobond PE, the same material that caught on fire and spread rapidly, destroying Grenfell Tower and taking 79 lives on June 14.

The company which manufactures it pulled it from worldwide sale on Monday.

An Edinburgh Napier University spokesperson said: “Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London we immediately began a review of all our buildings.

“A physical inspection identified that around a quarter of the exterior walls on one of our buildings – Bainfield Halls of residence – featured the same cladding reportedly used at Grenfell.

“The insulation materials behind the Bainfield cladding panels are non-combustible, the panel hangings are all made of metal, the wall cavities are properly fire-stopped and the buildings are fitted with sprinklers.

“There are also a range of other fire safety measures in place, including each block having its own exit route, a modern fire alarm and smoke detection system that is tested weekly, and 24-hour on-site security.

The spokesperson explained that work has already begun to remove and replace the cladding as a precautionary measure. The university is working closely with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to ensure it's safe to continue to use the building as normal.

A fire service spokeswoman said: “We have been in close contact with the University’s Fire Safety Adviser and our own Fire Safety Enforcement Officers will today (Tuesday 27 June) carry out a full and thorough audit of the building.

“Firefighters will also be available to provide reassurance to residents, staff and the wider community.”

The building is owned by Standard Life, but the university has a long-term repairing and insuring lease.

The university has also written to the current Bainfield tenants about the issue, encouraging them to contact with any concerns they might have.

A residents meeting will be held on Wednesday evening (28 June) to help alleviate any other worries.

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