£3.5m government funding secured by Temple Bright to remove cladding at London housing scheme


Bristol and London law firm Temple Bright has achieved a £3.5m funding application for fire safety remediation work at a development in the capital, including removing and replacing its cladding.

Completion of the grant funding agreement with the Greater London Authority enabled building contracts to be signed the following day and work on the site at Union Wharf, Hoxton, to begin within a few weeks. 

Union Wharf, a complex of 107 flats, is one of the first successful applicants under the government’s Building Safety Fund, established after the 2017 Grenfell tragedy to help meet the costs of remediation of unsafe, non-ACM (aluminium composite material) cladding systems.

The fund is aimed at building owners who need to carry out work to remediate unsafe non-ACM cladding, including certain types of other (non-aluminium) metal composite panels, high pressure laminate (HPL) panels, and render and timber wall systems that do not meet fire safety standards.

Building owners are required to explore every opportunity to fund remediation from sources other than private residential leaseholders and government funding, such as pursuing building warranties and through litigation.

Unfortunately for Union Wharf, the legal time limits to bring any claims under the original contracts or any warranties had expired.

The fund will meet the reasonable capital costs associated with removing and replacing unsafe cladding where costs would otherwise be passed on to leaseholders. 

Reasonable costs will be informed by industry standards having regard to cost benchmarks established from comparable projects by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and its advisors.

Following an introduction from Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers, Temple Bright began to advise Union Wharf on its application to the fund in late in 2020.

The firm assisted with the pre-tender support agreement the following January, under which Union Wharf received £460,000 to help fund the application process.

The second phase application was submitted in July 2021 and has now yielded a grant of £3.58m. Discussions are under way with Persimmon, the original developer responsible for the cladding, for a financial contribution for fire safety measures which the fund does not cover.

The Temple Bright team was made up of four partners working from its London and Bristol offices – Julia Davenport-Cooper (construction), James Vickerman (corporate), James Falle (competition & procurement) and James Harris (real estate).

Julia said the team was delighted to have achieved such an excellent result for Union Wharf in its application to the Building Safety Fund.

“The requirements of the fund are extensive and complex, so the process required expertise from a broad team of construction specialists across a range of disciplines,” she said.

“It has been a pleasure working with Union Wharf and the whole adviser team and it’s gratifying to see work now under way on site.”

Union Wharf managing agent Ian Nelthorpe added: “This is a great outcome for Union Wharf and we are extremely grateful to Julia Davenport-Cooper and her partners James Vickerman, James Falle and James Harris for guiding us through this demanding exercise.

“Julia and the team ensured that we were able to understand all the nuances of the government’s requirements and to put together a really strong application, which has ultimately been fruitful.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Temple Bright through the course of this project and beyond.”

Hayes Parsons managing director James Woollam said: “This is a cause for celebration for everyone involved, most of all Union Wharf and its stakeholders.

“Congratulations to them and to Temple Bright and the wider adviser team, in what we understand to be a pioneering successful application to the Building Safety Fund.”

Temple Bright was launched in Bristol in 2010 using a tech-enabled, streamlined business model. It opened its second office in London EC2 in 2013 and now has more than 70 partners, evenly spread across the two locations.

The firm advises clients ranging from start-ups to PLCs across a range of sectors, with significant expertise in real estate and construction work.

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 22 April 2022.


Julia Davenport-Cooper
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Energy & Environment
James Vickerman
  • Corporate
James Falle
  • Competition & Procurement
  • ESG, Compliance & Investigations