Extension of the temporary closure of St David’s Hall – Cardiff Council Statement


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, we have brought structural engineers - who are RAAC experts - back on 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 us. We will then have to carefully review the findings from the inspections and plan the necessary next steps.

We 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 7thSeptember. We will look to re-open 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 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 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). 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.