Bolton residents affected by the intense fire that swept through student accommodation in Bolton town centre earlier this month are being invited to apply for cash that was raised by generous donations.
The money is available for everyone who was displaced by the massive blaze at The Cube on Friday November 15.
An official Just Giving page was set up by the Greater Manchester Disaster Relief Fund (GMDRF), managed by Forever Manchester. More than £17,000 has been donated so far to the appeal for Cube students, while an additional contribution of £23,000 will be made by the GMDRF for students and non-students who were forced to leave their nearby homes.
A board of trustees, with representatives from Bolton Council and the University of Bolton, has formed to administer allocations from the Cube Fire Relief Fund once applications are received.
Residents from the two student buildings at The Cube and the four surrounding buildings (The Arches, The Picture House, Anvil, and Sun Alliance) need to complete an application form before Friday 6 December 2019.
All those affected are being notified of the arrangements and will receive application forms. There will be a variety of payments offered, depending on a range of criteria, based on how severely individuals were affected.
The main Cube building with the bulk of the 220 residents, where the fire started at around 20:30 was seriously damaged. The huge flames forced students to flee leaving all of their belongings behind.
Those in the Cube’s block unaffected by the fire (Phase 1) have been allowed to re-enter the building to collect essential items, but there is no immediate prospect of anyone being allowed access to the larger block (Phase 2).
Residents evacuated from the four surrounding buildings, The Picture House, The Anvil, Sun Alliance and The Arches were rehomed by their housing providers and others who made themselves known to the local authority were provided with temporary local accommodation. However, some did pay for hotels and food at their own expense.
Bolton Council’s Chief Executive, Tony Oakman, said: “Bolton has really come together, and we’ve seen the best of our town following the fire. The fire has really severely impacted the lives of some of our residents. This fund will go a little bit of the way to helping those most affected.”
The Cube is a privately owned and managed block of student accommodation and since the fire, the University has ensured that all students received £500 to tide them over in the short term. They have also been placed in a variety of temporary accommodation in Bolton, funded by the university.
President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Professor George E Holmes DL, added: “Everyone at the university was humbled by the amazing and generous response from the community, both in Bolton and across the country. Individuals and organisations have contributed to the official fund and now it is up to students and those living nearby to apply. Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to donate.”
How to apply:
Application forms can also be collected from the One Stop Shop, Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1RU.
After Friday 6 December 2019, the Board of Trustees will meet to allocate funding and notify residents as soon as possible of their decision.