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St David’s Hall Cardiff closes with immediate effect

St David's Hall. Credit: Kiran Ridley

St David’s Hall is to temporarily close to the public to undertake additional checks on the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels in the building.

The decision has been taken in light of the recent change to advice on RAAC in public buildings issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and following further discussions with the Council’s appointed independent structural engineers, and the council’s insurers.

The council has said they have been aware of RAAC in St David’s Hall and the need to manage it from a health and safety viewpoint since 2021, and it has always followed government guidelines and advice to ensure the building was safe.

A building management and health and safety strategy has been implemented at the venue for the past 18 months. This included regular inspections by independent structural engineers with specific RAAC expertise.

Throughout this time no issues were raised about the condition of RAAC in the building and there was no evidence of deterioration – and this remains the case.

However, the Council has continued to engage with its insurers and expert structural engineers and, based on advice received today from those experts, the council believes it is prudent and responsible to carry out intrusive surveys to further reassure themselves and the public on the safety of the Hall. This will require drilling into panels to confirm their interior construction and to determine if any further work is required to ensure continuing safety.

Consequently, the council is bringing structural engineers – who are RAAC experts – back on site to do fresh tests on RAAC panels in the building.

The procedure is expected to take at least 4 weeks, and they will look to re-open the Hall as soon as possible, dependent on any action which may or may not be required.

The council is currently contacting promoters and hirers to discuss the potential for rescheduling performances and to review all other options. There is no need for customers to contact St David’s Hall, as they will be in touch with all ticket holders about options available to you once they have spoken with each affected show’s promoter.

The Council has been consistently clear on the need for investment into St David’s Hall to secure its long-term future, addressing the RAAC and other maintenance issues, all of which was confirmed in a Cabinet report last year.

Work continues to progress the transfer of the hall to Academy Music Group (AMG). Ahead of taking over the operation of St David’s Hall, AMG had already undertaken its own inspections and has plans in place to undertake remedial work required in the medium to long-term.