Fire safety remediation costs revealed by Grenfell main contractor

In its latest financial statements, Rydon Group Limited has revealed that it has spent over £19 million on fire safety remediation work, citing a loss of £9.1 million before tax.

The company’s accounts for the year to 30 September 2023 suggest that its overall performance had been impacted by a “number of external factors” including “high inflationary pressures” and the “rise in cost of materials, labour shortages and a decline in consumer confidence”, with the “remediation of fire-safety issues” also having had a “cost impact”. 

As reported by Construction News, the firm, which was listed as the main contractor on the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower prior to the devastating fire in 2017, confirmed that it had remediated around 500 residential properties so far:

To date, we have spent over £19m on remedial safety works. This has included more than 500 apartment properties – built in partnerships with Housing Associations – where Rydon Construction has or is in the process of completing these works. We have also committed to a future pipeline of further spend on remedial fire safety works and are working closely with our supply chain partners, designers, consultants, and insurers to meet the updated requirements for fire safety compliance,” the annual report says.

Rydon added that “industry-wide cost liabilities following the introduction of the Building Safety Act will continue to have an impact on our construction business with its focus on legacy works and remediation, albeit that we have been addressing fire-safety issues long before any requirements to do so under current legislation.”

Commenting on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the firm said:

In relation to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Public Inquiry finished hearing evidence in November 2022 and a final report is expected in mid 2024. The Inquiry considered many aspects in relation to the tragedy including the tower’s refurbishment, cladding and insulation products, the testing of these products and the information provided by their manufacturers, the architect’s design, the scope, guidance and adequacy of relevant legislation and the cause and progression of the fire.

Along with many other contractors and developers, Rydon used cladding in its partial refurbishment of the building which was marketed widely by its manufacturers. It is now apparent the manufacturers circumvented fire regulations to assist in the marketing of their products and the certification process was very weak.”

Notably, in 2023, Rydon Maintenance Ltd was listed as one of the parties that settled a £150 million civil case with 900 bereaved, survivors, and residents of the Grenfell Tower fire. As previously reported by the FPA, a Rydon spokesperson said at the time: “Rydon, along with other companies and public sector bodies, has participated in an alternative dispute resolution process which related to a large number of civil claims brought by bereaved, survivors, and local residents of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Following productive and cooperative engagement between the parties, settlement terms have been agreed with the vast majority of those affected without the need for a prolonged legal process. Rydon continues to express its deepest sympathy to the Grenfell residents and their families.

It is understood that Rydon’s share in the £150 million settlement, known as BSR Cohort 1, was £26.7 million. Rydon adds that there “continue[s] to be ongoing discussions between the parties and those individuals not included in the BSR Cohort 1 settlement plus the emergency responders to the tragedy made up of individuals from the fire service and police services”.