Accommodation for Northumbria students set for September will use same cladding as Grenfell

It’s set to house over 400 students

A accommodation block set to open for the Northumbria students in September will go ahead despite using the same cladding at the centre of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The Shield in Newcastle is set to home 409 students, and is only a 10 minute walk away from Northumbria Uni. It is run by Fresh Student Living and not by the university itself. 

Although the use of PE panels on the building conforms to British safety standards, there’s tension and fear surrounding their use following the Grenfell Tower tragedy where the flammable cladding is blamed for the rapid spread of the fire. BAM Properties Ltd operations director Gerry Mather insist that the building “meets all fire safety and building regulations”, when speaking to the Chronicle.

The Shield will be 20m tall, 2m higher than the maximum height the government says the cladding should be used, leaving many worried about it’s use and the safety of students.

Mather reassures that the building has “very different safety characteristics” from Grenfell as it is significantly smaller. And they have sought out additional information from architects and fire safety consultants.

Fresh Student Living have released a statement simply saying it’s buildings are “fully compliant with fire safety regulations and are fire risk assessed”. Yet there’s still worry about the use of the flammable cladding in the wake of such a tragedy.

St James’ Point on Pitt Street is also suspected of being fitted with the same cladding, but spokespeople have refused to confirm the type used on the building.