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St David’s Hall Cardiff to remain closed for additional checks

St David's Hall. Credit: Kiran Ridley

The temporary closure of St David’s Hall has been extended to allow more time to complete the additional checks on the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels in the building, and to take the necessary next steps.

As previously stated on the 7thSeptember, the decision to temporarily close the hall was 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.

Since temporarily closing St David’s Hall, Structural engineers have returned to site to do fresh tests on RAAC panels in the building.

The structural engineers are expected to conclude their inspections in the coming weeks, after which the results will be shared with the council. Cardiff Council will then have to carefully review the findings from the inspections and plan the necessary next steps.

The council has said they expect this procedure to be completed in the next 3 weeks, which means that further performances will be postponed, in addition to those postponed following the temporary closure on the 7th September. The council plans to re-open the Hall as soon as possible, dependent on any action which may or may not be required.

Promoters and hirers will be contacted to discuss the potential for rescheduling performances. They have said they will also review all options, including relocating productions if practicable. Customers are advised not to contact St David’s Hall and instead will hear directly from the ticket promoters.

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 from those experts.

In a statement released by Cardiff Council, they said:

“We know this is causing a lot of inconvenience and disappointment, and we would again like to apologise to all our customers, but the safety of audiences, staff, artists, volunteers, and everyone at the venue is paramount, and that the Council is obliged to act in response to the updated HSE guidance and expert advice.

“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.

“We continue to work 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. We are keeping them appraised of the actions we are taking.

“We apologise to customers of St David’s Hall for the additional postponement of shows, and we want to reassure all ticket holders that we will be in touch to discuss rescheduling of performances and/or alternatives. Please follow the St David’s Hall website’s news section for updates.”