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Cash Relief Fund Opens To Bolton Fire Victims

Hundreds have been displaced by the blaze at The Cube.

Residents affected by the 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 blaze at The Cube on Friday November 15th.

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, and 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 been 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, Sun Alliance) need to complete an application form before Friday, December 6.

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 Cube has 221 flats and 220 residents - 213 of those were University of Bolton students the other seven attended colleges or universities outside Bolton.

The main Cube building with the bulk of the 220 residents, in which the fire started at around 8.30pm, was severely damaged and students have been left without belongings.

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.”

Application forms can also be collected from the One Stop Shop, Bolton Town Hall.

After December 6, the Board of Trustees will meet to allocate funding and notify residents as soon as possible of the decision.

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