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Cardiff: Popular venue containing RAAC set to remain closed for extended period

A POPULAR Cardiff venue which contains the notorious concrete known as RAAC is set to remain temporarily closed for an extended period of time.

Cardiff Council announced on September 7 that St David’s Hall in the city centre would be temporarily closed for at least four weeks so that checks could be carried out on the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which is present in the venue’s ceiling.

The council said structural engineers are yet to conclude their inspections, after which a review of the findings and plan on the necessary next steps will need to be undertaken.

This process is expected to be completed in the next three weeks.

In a statement, Cardiff Council said: “We will look to reopen the hall as soon as possible, dependent on any action which may or may not be required.

“As we did early in September, we will be contacting promoters and hirers to discuss the potential for rescheduling performances.

“We will also review all other options, including relocating productions if practicable.

“Again, there is no need for customers to contact St David’s Hall, we will be in touch with all ticket holders about options available once we have spoken with each affected show’s promoter.

“We would be grateful if customers could give St David’s Hall staff the space to undertake this work so that we can come back to them as quickly as possible about ticket purchases and postponed events.”

The running of St David’s Hall is in the process of being taken over by major venue operator, Academy Music Group (AMG).

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Cardiff Council has been aware of RAAC in St David’s Hall since 2021 and said it has always followed government guidelines and advice to ensure the building was safe.

The council said no issues were raised about the condition of RAAC in St David’s Hall over the past 18 months, during which time a building management and health and safety strategy was implemented.

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.

The statement from Cardiff Council continues: “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.”

The UK Government announced new guidance on RAAC in educational settings in August 2023 and a number of schools across the country were required to close over safety concerns.

Following inspections of 115 schools across Cardiff, the council announced in September none of the buildings contained RAAC