CONCERNS have been raised about the cladding covering the Cube student apartment block which was engulfed by fire last night.

Speaking at press conference at the scene of the blaze in Bradshawgate, The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, confirmed that although cladded, the building was not covered by the now banned ACM cladding which had been on the Grenfell Tower.

He added: "Nevertheless it does have a form of cladding that I think causes a concern and raises issues that will now have to be addressed nationally."

Councillor Paul Dennet, the Mayor of Salford and chairman of the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force, told the conference that the student accommodation had been clad in high pressure laminate not aluminium composite (ACM).

He said: "We were aware of the cladding system that was on this building and there were interim measures in place.

"Every apartment had a fire alarm and there was also an air horn in the communal areas of the building which did sound and did alert."

Students were also alerted to the danger by two student ambassadors ­— named as Kate and Jade ­— who knocked on all the apartment doors, he said.

Cllr Dennet added: "What we are going to have to do now is fully investigate this fire and see if there is any learning that we can feed into the High Rise Task Force and then feed that into some of the work that is happening nationally."

He further called on the Government to provide more money to help to remove flammable cladding to avoid future incidents.

Both Cllr Dennet and Mr Burnham praised the actions of fire crews in tackling the last night's blaze.

Mr Burnham said: "I'm sure I speak for everyone in Greater Manchester in saying I am couldn't be more proud of our firefighters and the other emergency services for the way in which they dealt with the situation expertly and bravely."

Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Beverley Hughes, said that some of the firefighters tackling the Cube blaze had been involved in Grenfell-informed training only one day previous.

This learning from Grenfell "really paid dividends last night" she said, adding:"As well as arriving quickly they knew what to do immediately and put that into place.

"I think its absolutely fantastic that none of the residents at least were harmed and that it commendable and testimony to the extremely well done operation."