The external cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower during its refurbishment was changed from zinc to a cheaper aluminium alternative to save money, documents reveal.
According to information shared with the BBC, the change in cladding saved £293,368 and was one of a number of cost-saving proposals sent to contractors.
The aluminium-based cladding has the same official fire rating the the original zinc option, and there is no suggestion a deliberate decision was made to cut fire safety.
The fire engulfed Grenfell Tower surprisingly rapidly, and investigators are examining whether the cladding contributed to how it spread to quickly and killed at least 80 people.
The news of the cost-savings at the tower comes after Kensington and Chelsea council halted their first public cabinet meeting in the wake of the fire after just 20 minutes, claiming it would “prejudice” the upcoming public enquiry.
On Wednesday, retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the public enquiry into the fire. He said “a vigorous inquiry that gets to the truth” and he understood the “desire of local people for justice”.