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Temporary Closure of St David's Hall to Take Place with Immediate Effect
Thursday 7 September 2023 · Cardiff Council
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 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, we believe it is prudent and responsible to carry out intrusive surveys to further reassure ourselves 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, we will be bringing structural engineers – who are RAAC experts – back on site to do fresh tests on RAAC panels in the building.
We expect this procedure could take at least 4 weeks, and we will look to re-open the Hall as soon as possible, dependent on any action which may or may not be required.
We know this will cause a lot of inconvenience and disappointment, and we would like to apologise to all our customers, but we hope you will understand that 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.
We will be 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, we will be in touch with all ticket holders about options available to you once we have spoken with each affected show’s promoter. We would be grateful if customers could give us the space to undertake this work so that we can come back to you as quickly as possible about your ticket purchase/cancelled event.
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 will be keeping them appraised of the actions we are taking.
Once again, we apologise to customers of St David’s Hall for the late cancellation of shows, and we want to reassure you 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. Thank you for your understanding and patience.