Today (November 16th) marks the first anniversary of the fire at The Cube, Bolton. This serious fire engulfed the block of student accommodation, and although no residents were injured, it raised questions about the construction of the property and whether it performed in accordance with expectations.

Manchester Fire and Rescue conducted an investigation into their immediate handling of the blaze and raised some concerns about the building construction, and this report has been made public

 However it is understood that the government commissioned the Building Research Establishment to investigate what impact the building construction had on the blaze, and the results of this and any report have never been made public. This is despite the fire itself having been specifically referenced in MHCLG's review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings.

 In January 2020, the Shadow CLG Secretary, Steve Reed tabled a written question asking MHCLG whether the Building Research Establishment (BRE) report into the fire at The Cube will be published. In response, the then Housing Minister, Esther McVey replied:

"Information from the Report has been shared with the Expert Panel, Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service."

 Ms McVey’s response suggests that the BRE had drafted a report some time ago. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service certainly have a copy, as does MHCLG, and presumably are using it in their own deliberations. It is concerning that the report has not been made public, despite the clear public interest in doing so.

The National Codes will be calling on Government to place this information in the public domain without further delay.

At the time of the fire in November 2019 this development was being managed by Valeo USL. This was the same management company that the site was managed by when it was verified by the National Code during February-April 2019. In July 2020, Unipol was notified by Homes for Students that they had taken on the management of all buildings that were previously operated by Valeo, including The Cube, however at that time HfS did not anticipate occupation of The Cube until 2021 at the earliest. Future works rest on the lifting of the entire building improvement notice by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue. Previous information about The Cube can be found at