A FIRM with a branch in St Helens has been linked to the production of the materials that covered the fire-devastated Grenfell Tower in London.

According to a report in the Guardian, Omnis Exteriors, which is believed to produce facades at their St Helens branch, in Roundwood Drive, off Sherdley Road, manufactured the aluminium composite material (ACM) used in the tower's cladding.

Omnis have not been accused of breaching any regulations or of any other wrongdoing.

Experts have discussed whether the rapid spread of the fire was caused by the building's cladding, allowing the flames to race up the building and making it harder to contain.

The Guardian said that a company director from Omnis, John Cowley, told them that Omnis had been asked to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for "fire resistant" to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower.

On its website, Omnis Exteriors describes itself as a "leading UK manufacturer and supplier of exterior building products and systems comprising four divisions - roofing and cladding, rainscreen panels, rainscreen framing and glazing".

The site says Omnis has a premises in St Helens and has completed almost 400 multi-storey building projects.

Omnis' head office is in Worcester, and the Worcester News reported that Mr Cowley - who is the director of CEP Architectural Facades which is owned by Omnis - had released a statement in which it is stressed that CEP did not manufacture Reynobond.

According to the newspaper, Mr Cowley says: "It is critical to consider the whole system including insulation materials, fire barriers, fixings and railings and you also need to look at the overall design and quality of installation."

He adds: "Whilst we do design and supply whole systems, in this case we were one part of the jigsaw with components coming from a variety of suppliers, working with materials and specifications determined by the contractors.

"Clearly, we will participate fully in any investigation and we will co-operate with the authorities to ensure something like this could never happen again."

On June 14, a fire broke out in the 24-story high rise tower block in North Kensington, London, and currently there are 79 presumed dead.

Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the disaster to establish what had happened.

The Star has contacted Omnis' St Helens branch for a comment.