A SUPPORT group has renewed demands for a £10 million donation from a manufacturing firm they claim ‘mislead’ families about the danger of asbestos.

Campaigners with the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum (AVSGF) – which Clydebank Asbestos Group (CAG) is a member – say it ‘beggars’ belief’ that company Altrad, who acquired Cape for £332m in 2017, has not yet paid the money to atone for hiding the ‘real dangers of its asbestos products.’

Cape was a leading manufacturer of asbestos products in the UK from the 1950s to the 1980s.

And Harminder Bains, a lawyer whose father died from mesothelioma, said the company must pay up and right the wrongs of the past.

He said: “The barristers and I represented the AVSGF for over three and a half years, pro bono, in order to force Cape to disclose documents which revealed the extent of their persistent attempts to hide the dangers posed by their asbestos products, which have led to many unnecessary deaths.

“Altrad, the parent company of Cape, is a blue-chip company with a global brand and sponsors the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.”

AVSGF first demanded the £10m payment in March 2022 with the aim of putting the money towards research into life-extending treatments for mesothelioma - a terminal cancer caused by asbestos.

A 2019 legal case won by AVSGF in the Supreme Court forced Cape to disclose documents.

The protestors claim these show that, from the 1960s, Cape withheld evidence on the risks its asbestos products posed to human life.

AVSGF add that Altrad fought relentlessly to keep the documents from the public domain because the files revealed that Cape’s products were far more dangerous than previously disclosed by the manufacturer.

Rob Rayner, Chair of AVSGF said: “Cape’s asbestos products are responsible for many deaths.

“Their products are in many of our schools, hospitals and other public buildings, and so will continue to expose people to asbestos.

“Any donation by Cape towards medical research needs to reflect this devastating impact on so many people’s lives.

“Any agreement needs to be a game changer for mesothelioma research. Asbestos victims need to be given hope that one day there might be a cure for this terrible disease.”

A spokesperson from Altrad said: "Cape has been actively engaged with AVSG for many months and regrettably, despite offering significant sums towards medical research on mesothelioma, we were unable to find an acceptable agreement that balanced the interests of both parties.

"Our offer demonstrated our empathy towards those affected by historic asbestos use as well as our resolve to go above and beyond our legal responsibilities.

"Cape has already paid out over £100m in asbestos compensation and expects to pay at least £50m more in compensation to victims and families affected by Cape's legacy involvement in the asbestos industry.

"We will continue to explore ways in which we can do more and commit to channelling funding towards asbestos-related initiatives alongside our wider philanthropic activities."

AVSGF held a protest outside the Altrad office in Warrington at 1pm on Monday, July, 17.