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More venues confirm presence of dangerous type of concrete with some closing as a precautionary measure. 

Exterior of Preston Guild Hall
Preston's Guild Hall and Charter Theatre will remain closed while investigations take place

Francis Franklin/Creative Commons

A further theatre has closed with immediate effect over concerns about the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in the structure of its building.

Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that RAAC was found at the site following an initial survey.

Posting on social media platform X, the theatre said: "A full intrusive survey is required. While this is carried out, the venue will remain closed. Ticket holders will be contacted for performances affected."


It is one of a number of venues making announcements this week, following the closure of several theatres last week.

Preston City Council said "it is believed" RAAC is present in the roof of its Guild Hall and Charter Theatre venues.

The venues have been closed since 2019 after the firm running them went into liquidation, but the city council had been due to reopen them in November.

However, they will instead be secured while specialist structural engineers investigate if aerated concrete is present.

A spokesperson said: "We are taking a cautious and 'safety first' approach by securing the Grand Hall and Charter Theatre auditoria until specialist consultant structural engineers can carry out a more detailed inspection.

"Unfortunately, we understand that this may take some time, as the experts required to carry out this very particular type of work are naturally prioritising school inspections."

Solihull Core theatre, which last week announced it was closing as a precautionary measure, has now confirmed that it is undertaking a full structural review of the building, which "will take time to complete". 

'Deeply disappointing'

It is contacting performers to move or reschedule all shows on the calendar until the end of November. Where possible, shows will be rescheduled or moved to another space, but it has said that some will have to be cancelled.

While the theatre is closed, the rest of the venue will remain open.

A spokesperson for Solihull Council said: "This is deeply disappointing news for everyone - for customers, hirers, performers, promoters and the whole team at The Core. 

"We know that a huge amount of hard work, love and dedication goes into theatre and musical productions, so I understand how upsetting this is. 

"However, safety is paramount, and we must continue to follow the guidance to the letter. 

"Please carry on visiting The Core. It remains open and staff will be very happy to welcome you to the café, library and Solihull Connect."

Remaining open

Elsewhere, a theatre in Reading is set to stay open despite the discovery of aerated concrete. Reading Borough Council has said that although it was used in the construction of the Hexagon in 1977, inspections concluded there was no reason the venue should not remain fully operational.

It added that checks will continue over the autumn and it is seeking ongoing advice from engineers.

Meanwhile, Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake has said that there is no reason for concern at the venue after it conducted a precautionary survey.

Simon Stephens, Executive Director and Joint CEO of Theatre by the Lake, said: “We know we are low risk due to the year our theatre was built [in 1999], however, we have conducted a visual inspection and consulted the building’s structural documents and have no reason for concern at this stage. 

"We will remain vigilant and continue to ensure the safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff.”