Victoria Centre and the Victoria Centre flats, from Shakespeare Street

Nottingham City Council has been forced to upgrade the fire safety systems in 13 council-owned high-rise towers despite ‘a lack of government funding’.

Councillor Linda Woodings told Local Authority Building & Maintenance (LABM) that Nottingham City Council are still yet to receive Government funding for the work.

Since the Grenfell fire in 2017, there has been pressure on the Government and local councils to ensure there is a high standard of fire safety in tower blocks across the country.

Nottingham City Council announced plans to upgrade the fire safety systems in 13 towers across the city, which are managed by Nottingham City Homes, in February 2018.

The improvements were due to begin in March of the same year.

The plans included significant upgrades to sprinkler systems in all high-rise towers, which helps prevent fires from getting out of hand.

They also announced plans to install new tannoys and intercoms allowing residents to communicate with fire services in the event of a fire.

In the aftermath of the Grenfell fire, the Government promised to cover the costs of the safety measures Nottingham City Council would be installing.

But, nearly two-and-a-half years on, LABM have claimed the promised funding has not been provided.

To avoid stalling on other building projects across the city, Nottingham City Council has had to borrow the funds, which now total more than £8.4million.

The council added that it has been refused payments on numerous occasions since the works began.

Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, told LABM: “Since the terrible tragedy at Grenfell two years ago, we have undertaken a huge amount of work with our local partners.

“All of our council high-rise blocks have fire risk assessments in place and are fully compliant with current regulations. We have installed sprinkler systems, and upgraded the fire alarms, intercoms and communication equipment at a cost of £8.4m, which, despite promises, the Government has never provided any funding towards.”

Despite continuing the work, Nottingham City Council are still chasing up the missing funds.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Nottingham Fire & Rescue Services, Craig Parkin said they have tactical plans in place should a fire break out in a ‘complex building’ such as Victoria Centre.

He explained the service offers ‘self and well visits’ to reassure residents.

These visits can be anything from helping someone fix a fire alarm to keeping warm during the winter.

The council is also working with privately owned high-rise buildings to make sure there are sufficient building and safety standards in place.

Fire safety upgrades are currently being carried out in the Victoria Centre flats, in Nottingham City Centre, where 464 of the councils 1,507 flats are located.