The government has announced that a new contractor has been appointed to maintain the site of Grenfell Tower.
Deconstruct UK Ltd (DUK), part of a wider group of companies called De-Group, will take over and continue essential safety and maintenance works. This is a standard process and is part of the government’s role in keeping the site safe. DUK will be responsible for keeping the tower site safe and secure by monitoring the Tower and the site 24 hours a day; carrying out planned safety works, including the removal of heavy and damaged items and asbestos from the tower; installing new ‘props’ (aluminium and steel weight-bearing supports) to supplement those that have been installed since the fire; and continuing maintenance work as necessary, to guarantee site safety and security.
DUK has been working at the Grenfell Tower site since 2017 as a specialist subcontractor to the previous principal contractor, Wates Property Services. A principal contractor is required for any project involving more than one contractor. The existing contract for the Grenfell Tower site expires in July.
The procurement process began last December, when the government invited bids from a range of companies. Bidders in the procurement process were evaluated based on a range of technical, commercial and behavioural criteria, which included community engagement and willingness to contribute to the local community. A group of volunteers from the local community also took part and gave their perspectives on what was needed from the new contractor.
DUK has experience of, and understanding of, the structure of the tower and sensitive management of the site, but has not been appointed to deconstruct the tower.
A government statement said: “Following important safety advice from structural engineering firms, Atkins, and Jacobs, we have recently written to the community about a decision on the future of Grenfell Tower. The government is keen to speak to as many bereaved families, survivors and local residents as possible, and hear any questions, concerns or comments before a decision is made. Meetings are currently taking place for families and individuals to hear from and talk to the MHCLG team and engineering experts advising the government.
“If a decision were taken to deconstruct the tower, we would procure a specialist contractor to carry out any future works on the tower using our usual, thorough procurement process."
On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey block of flats in North Kensington, West London, causing 72 deaths, leading to a review of fire safety in the UK.