This summary explains the new £27 million fund to pay for the costs of installing an alarm system in buildings to replace Waking Watch.
Applies to England
On 10 January the government announced a further £27 million to fund the installation of alarms and replace costly Waking Watch measures in all buildings in England where a Waking Watch is currently in place at cost to leaseholders.
The fund builds on the £35 million Waking Watch Relief Fund (WWRF) which was focussed on high-rise residential buildings (above 17.7 metres) with unsafe cladding. The new £27 million fund extends financial support to more buildings and is aligned with guidance published by the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) on buildings that change from a ‘Stay Put’ to a ‘Simultaneous Evacuation’ fire safety strategy.
1. Application guidance
Applications to the fund opened on 27 January 2022. The application period closed at 11:59 pm on 28 March 2022.
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2. Who will benefit?
Leaseholders who may have faced high costs for interim safety measures by providing financial support and delivering a better, long-term fire safety system in their buildings.
3. Which buildings will be eligible?
The fund will cover the upfront capital costs of installing an alarm system. The common fire alarm system should generally be designed in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1 for a Category L5 system, which is referred to in the NFCC’s revised guidance on simultaneous evacuation.
To be eligible:
- the building must be located in England
- the building must be a residential building
- the building must have a Waking Watch in place where the costs have been passed on to leaseholders
Social sector buildings where the Registered Provider can evidence that waking watch costs have been passed to leaseholders and the costs of installing an alarm will fall on leaseholders will also be eligible.
4. Will retrospective costs be considered?
The fund will cover the cost of alarms where installation work commenced on or after 10 January 2022.
5. Delivery of the fund
Almost £6 million of the £27 million additional funding has been allocated to 5 metropolitan areas. The fund will be administered by the following authorities/regions to private sector buildings located in their area: Birmingham, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield. The remaining funding will be administered centrally by DLUHC to eligible private sector buildings in all other areas and to eligible buildings in the social sector.
Once completed the application form will be redirected to the relevant local authority or DLUHC automatically. An applicant will not need to send an application form outside of this process unless specifically requested to do so by the administering authority.
Local/combined authority Waking Watch Replacement Fund allocations
|Local/combined authority||Allocated funding (£million)|
6. Waking Watch Relief Fund 2021
For those that applied to the 2021 Waking Watch Relief Fund, please use the Waking Watch Relief Fund page to access further information and guidance documents.