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Cladding on unfinished Royal hospital ‘doesn’t meet fire safety standards’

Some of the cladding on the new Royal Liverpool Hospital does not meet fire safety standards, a report has said.

In a letter to its stakeholders, the Royal Liverpool Hospital Trust confirmed Arup has identified the requirement for “further improvements to the structure and to cladding”.

Work on the new £335 million hospital ground to a halt in February after the collapse of contractor Carillion.

The hospital trust has now said there has been added complexity in reaching an estimate of the costs to complete the hospital as a result of remedial work required to correct faults created by Carillion.

Structural engineering firm Arup has been engaged to identify the work required to complete the scheme and has identified the requirement for further improvements to the structure and to cladding.

Before Carillion entered into liquidation, the trust says it sought assurances from the firm about the cladding and was told it had all been been “specified and installed to meet the required standards of fire safety”.

> Related: | Carillion collapse: Impact on the North West

The recent review from Arup has found this not to be the case with some parts of the cladding.

Meanwhile, discussions between the government and funders to agree a way forward for the hospital are said to be continuing, and it’s expected that these discussions will generate an “agreed outcome very soon”.

The statement adds: “In line with the project agreement, the trust can terminate the contract with the Hospital Company, if the new Royal hasn’t been handed over by the ‘long stop date’.

“That date is 30 September and the board will be discussing all their options later this month. If the contract was terminated, we would need to engage the lenders in complex discussions regarding the status of their investment.

“These discussions would need to be resolved before a new contract to complete the hospital could be agreed.”