St David's Hall temporary closure extended to the New Year - Cardiff Council Statement


This statement provides an update on the current temporary closure of St David's Hall whilst additional checks on the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels in the building are carried out, and whilst the necessary next steps are taken. This update follows previous statements issued on 2nd October and 7th September.

The RAAC experts brought in by Cardiff Council to carry out the additional checks are nearing the end of their inspections, and their findings are due to be reported back to the local authority next week (week beginning 16th October).

Early indications have made it clear that work will be required if the Hall is to reopen. The exact works required will be reviewed in light of the report findings, and based on a number of factors including short versus longer term cost implications,  how long it might take to deliver remedial/temporary works, and how long those remedial works might last before a full replacement of the RAAC panels in the roof was required.

We expect a decision to be taken by Cabinet this month on all of the above. However, bearing in mind remedial/temporary works might take several months to put in place, a decision has been taken now to extend the closure of St David's Hall until the New Year at the very least.

This means that further performances will be postponed and, as we have done before, we will be contacting promoters and hirers to discuss the potential for rescheduling performances. Again, we will also review all other options, including relocating productions if practicable. While the ongoing temporary closure continues, some promoters have already opted to change venues now, if available.

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.

We apologise to customers of St David's Hall for the further 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 check the St David's Hall website's news section for updates.

As previously stated on the 7th September, 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.

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.

However, the Council has continued to engage with its insurers and expert structural engineers and, based on advice received 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 has required drilling into panels to confirm their interior construction and to determine if any further work is required to ensure continuing safety.  

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). We are keeping them appraised of the actions we are taking and we are in constant dialogue with staff at St David's Hall to keep them updated.