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Government allocates £42 million to support delivery of building safety reforms

14 March 2023

THE GOVERNMENT has announced that, over the next three years, more than £42 million is being set aside to support the delivery of tough new standards for managing safety aspects in higher-risk buildings brought in by the landmark Building Safety Act 2022.

The package consists of a £16.5 million grant to Local Authority Building Control, the representative body for local authority building control in England and Wales, and £26 million to support the Fire and Rescue Services in England as well as the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The grant funding will enable local regulators to recruit, train and employ new building control inspectors and fire inspectors. These local partners will support the work of the new Building Safety Regulator at the Health and Safety Executive in overseeing the safety and standards of the design, construction and management of higher-risk buildings, as well as strengthening the sector as a whole.

Around 110 building inspectors and 111 new fire protection officers will be recruited across England and receive high-quality training over a three-year programme designed to direct skills and resources to areas with a greater distribution of high-rise buildings.

Important reforms

Lee Rowley, the Minister for Building Safety, said: “The Government is delivering important reforms under the Building Safety Act, including the introduction of the new Building Safety Regulator to oversee building safety and performance. This taxpayer funding will give additional resource to local regulators who will support the work of the Building Safety Regulator in making buildings safer.”

Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings at the Health and Safety Executive, stated: “Local authority and Fire and Rescue Services are vital to the delivery of the new safety regime for higher-risk residential buildings. I welcome the work being conducted to quickly increase capability and capacity such that our regulatory partners can deliver their important roles. Our common goal is ensuring the success of the new regime in keeping residents safe in their homes both now and into the future.”

Local Authority Building Control CEO Lorna Stimpson commented: “We are delighted to have secured this funding to provide much-needed additional resources for our local authority members in England. Building control surveyors are a scarce commodity and so it’s important that we start to invest in this previously underfunded, but vital public service role. We welcome the role that local authority building control will have as part of the new Building Safety Regulator’s multi-disciplinary teams and in helping to implement the reforms recommended by Dame Judith Hackitt.”

Policy intent

National Fire Chiefs Council chair Mark Hardingham noted: “The National Fire Chiefs Council welcomes confirmation of the three-year funding for Fire and Rescue Services to recruit additional staff to support the new Building Safety Regulator. We will be working collectively with others to ensure that the new Building Safety Regulator delivers on the policy intent set out by Dame Judith Hackitt and, as part of that, establishes a sustainable funding model for Fire and Rescue Services that goes beyond the initial financial package.”

Under the new regime, building control inspectors, fire inspectors and fire engineers will be the local partner regulators of the new Building Safety Regulator at the Health and Safety Executive.

The Building Safety Regulator will have new powers and responsibilities to ensure the safety of all buildings as well as additional responsibilities in terms of how higher-risk buildings should be constructed and safely maintained.