Adoption charity forced under after Grenfell cladding discovery

City Gate

City Gate in Manchester

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

An adoption charity has been forced to close after its Manchester headquarters were discovered to have Grenfell-style cladding.

After Adoption hoped to raise £600,000 selling the premises at City Gate to ease financial pressures caused by changes in the adoption industry.

But the charity was unaware of the flammable Aluminium Composite Cladding (ACM) until it was discovered by the buyer's solicitors in February days before the sale was due to complete.

A spokesperson for the charity who did not want to be named, told talkRADIO: "We tried to go back into negotiation. But because there was no clear, costed path to getting the cladding replaced it became too much of a liability for the buyer to take on."

Last week the government announced a £200m fund to remove ACM cladding from private tower blocks; too late for After Adoption who appointed administrators in April.

The organisation had offices across the UK, employed 120 and worked with 4,000 parents and children every year.

Many of its services and around half of its staff have been transferred to other agencies or local authorities.

But some projects have ceased, including a scheme to support young adopted people in the North East and the Midlands. Lottery grants have also been returned.

"It's been a huge wrench for all of us", the spokesperson added. "There were a lot of people who'd stayed knowing we were going through these challenges, but staying because they really believed in it."

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