Dangerous roof at FACET charity college in March is given thousands of pounds for urgent repairs
PUBLISHED: 17:02 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 22 October 2018
A charity college in March for adults with learning disabilities has secured thousands of pounds to repair a dangerous roof, which was damaged in Storm Doris nearly two years ago.
FACET, in Marwick Road, was hit by the storm in February 2017 when high winds lifted the roof causing significant damage.
While works began to repair it, extra damage was spotted to the neighbouring flat roof.
Now, the day has been saved, with a total of £113,000 given from the county council to help fund repairs.
Half of that money will be paid back on a long term basis by FACET through an increase in its rent.
John Macmillan, group asset manager for Cambridgeshire County Council, said there were fears the college would have to close if there was further deterioration of the roof.
“A temporary fix to keep the roof secured down by strapping was carried out by East Coast, but a permanent solution is required to make the roof secure and safeguard against a similar situation occurring in the event of another bad storm,” he said.
“If the roof is not made safe there are serious health and safety issues and the possibility of the roof lifting off.
“If the building was subsequently condemned from further deterioration or damage to the roof and the centre forced to close this would force students to go to alternative centres.
“There is another day centre in March but it is already close to full capacity and other options are some distance away including additional transport costs and in some instances it may not be suitable for a vulnerable person to travel.”
The original repair of the roof construction was considered negligent, according to a county council report of the commercial and investment committee, who said they are still pursuing this against the original contractor.
However, this is progressing slowly and cannot be relied on for recovering costs of the works needed to make the roof safe, the report says.
FACET has a sensory room, two halls and a busy garden centre and delivers more than 31,750 training sessions every year to 140 students.
Around half of them are directly funded by Cambridgeshire County Council.
It employs 37 staff, four of which are in the senior management team.
They have four charity shops in Fenland where students can train in retail so they can work outside of FACET.
The funding proposal of £113,000 plus VAT was approved at county council on Friday October 19. The General Purposes Committee will be requested to approve an increase in the 2018/19 capital programme to cover the cost of the roof repairs.