Kingspan involved in £150m settlement over Grenfell Tower tragedy

Insulation maker ‘cannot confirm or deny’ contribution of £4m to redress scheme

Kingspan, the Dublin-listed insulation maker, has confirmed its involvement in a £150 million (€175.8 million) out of court settlement with the UK government related to the Grenfell Tower fire but said it “cannot confirm or deny” whether it agreed to pay out roughly €4.7 million as part of the deal.

Kingspan products were used in the west London tower block, where 72 people were killed in a fire in 2017.

The company has been singled out for criticism in recent weeks over its role in the failures that led to the blaze. UK housing secretary and Conservative Party MP Michael Gove recently said the insulation maker “is a company that gives capitalism a bad name”. He told the BBC last month that Kingspan had “consistently evaded their responsibilities”.

The company has long said that its K15 insulation product made up only 5 per cent of the insulation in the tower block, and was used without its recommendation.


The inquiry’s long-delayed final report on the disaster is due to be published in April.

But reports in the UK suggest the Kingscourt, Co Cavan-based group has paid out some £4 million (€4.7 million) as part of a redress scheme agreed with the UK government and other parties related to the disaster.

The Byline Times, a British news website, reported recently that Kingspan contributed 2.84 per cent of the settlement amount, the joint smallest proportion of the total sum. Journalist Chris Blackhurst said the breakdown of the settlement amounts, which the website has seen, suggests that Kingspan was not among the “worst offenders” and that the Tory-controlled local borough shouldered most of the blame for the disaster.

The largest contributor to the scheme was the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which accounted for 38.4 per cent, slightly more than £52 million.

Builders Rydon made the second largest contribution of roughly £16.3 million, or 10.8 per cent, according to the report followed by Celetex – the maker of most of the insulation used in the building – which accounted for 9.84 per cent of the £150 million pay out.

“Whilst we confirm that Kingspan was involved in the negotiated settlement between the Government and other parties, we cannot confirm or deny the details of this settlement which is confidential information,” a spokesman for the group said. “It is now a matter of record that the Grenfell Inquiry has found that “the principal reason” for the rapid-fire spread was the polyethylene-cored ACM cladding (which was not made by Kingspan).”

“Additionally,” he said, “expert evidence by the Inquiry’s own experts is that the type of insulation used was not a factor in the speed or spread of the fire and, even had non-combustible insulation been used, this would not have changed the speed or spread of the fire.”

Separately, a group of 114 firefighters who attended the incident recently secured up to £1.1m each in compensation after they sued construction companies, the landlord of the council block and the London fire commissioner, the Guardian reported earlier this week.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times