Two Sheffield tower blocks get fire safety with Waking Watch grants

Two Sheffield tower blocks will be fully installed with fire alarms to keep residents safe and remove the costly burden of Waking Watch from leaseholders.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 2:02 pm

City centre blocks Mandale House and Royal Plaza, which have a combined 270 apartments, will have the fire safety work after receiving additional funding.

Sheffield Council officer Owen Roe said: “In December 2020 the government announced a £30 million fund to help end the scandal of excessive Waking Watch costs passed on to leaseholders, as part of a move to support thousands of residents in high rise buildings.

“They made an initial grant allocation of £500,000 with the message that further funding would be provided on a case by case basis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Mandale House (picture) and Royal Plaza tower blocks in Sheffield city centre will have fire safety work after receiving additional funding from Waking Watch grants

“The funding was intended to pay for the installation of fire alarm systems in high rise buildings with cladding issues, removing, or reducing the need for costly interim safety measures such as Waking Watch.”

Fire safety is a high priority for Sheffield

Fire alarm systems have been installed but in these two blocks, contractors said extra work not included in the original quotes was needed to complete it to the required standard.

Requests for additional Waking Watch grants from the government to cover these new costs have been approved.

The report adds: “Sheffield is clear that it wants to support leaseholders, and to work with building managers and agents to improve fire safety in high risk, high rise blocks across the city.

“The additional Waking Watch grant will remove the financial burden of these fire safety measures from leaseholders, and deliver better long term safety systems in these buildings.

“Fire safety is a high priority for Sheffield and nationally. These variations will mean the council can provide funds for the full installation of appropriate fire alarms for these two developments, ensuring the immediate fire safety of over 270 dwellings, removing the costly burden of Waking Watch from leaseholders.”

Mandale House will get £15,428, in addition to an original grant of £79,895, while Royal Plaza will get an additional £9,922 on top of a previous grant of £160,645.