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Wales concert hall closed due to concrete issues

All shows at Cardiff's St David's Hall have been postponed for the next month to allow additional checks on the venue's concrete panels

By James Hanley on 08 Sep 2023

St David's Hall

image © Jklo286

A Welsh concert hall has closed with immediate effect to allow additional checks on the building’s concrete panels.

The decision to temporarily close the 2,000-cap St David’s Hall in Cardiff was taken in light of the recent change to advice on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in public buildings issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and follows further discussions with the Cardiff Council’s appointed independent structural engineers, and insurers.

All shows are currently postponed for the next month, including concerts by Lindisfarne, Dexys and Graham Nash. St David’s Hall is set to welcome acts such as Alfie Boe, Europe, Daniel O’Donnell, Beverley Knight, Howard Jones and Level 42 in October.

Academy Music Group is due to take over the running of the venue in the near future and “has already undertaken its own inspections and has plans in place to undertake remedial work required in the medium to long-term”.

“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”

The Welsh government has been asking local authorities for updates on the state of RAAC in its facilities since Westminster closed more than 100 education buildings in England last week.

The council says it has been aware of RAAC at St David’s Hall and the need to manage it from a health and safety viewpoint since 2021, and has always followed government guidelines and advice to ensure it was safe. A building management and health and safety strategy has been implemented at the venue for the past 18 months, including 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,” says a council statement. “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 four 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.”


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