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Theatre and pool to close after council survey discovers RAAC

14 September 2023

Surveys commissioned by Peterborough City Council have identified the presence of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in two of its buildings.

Surveys have been taking place on properties owned by the council and this week it has been concluded that RAAC is present in the Key Theatre and the Regional Fitness and Swimming Centre.

In terms of the Key Theatre, RAAC has been identified in the auditorium roof construction. Therefore, as a precaution, the council has worked with the operators of the theatre to close the auditorium to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. The Chalkboard tearoom and bistro remains open as well as other spaces including the studio theatre, box office, offices, spires rooms and swan rooms.

The venue is also working hard to make sure the Kindred Youth Theatre sessions can continue, as well work in schools and with community partners.

The Regional Fitness and Swimming Centre RAAC is more widely spread, and additional work is needed to understand this better. The pool is currently closed for asbestos removal and there is no date for reopening at this stage.

More detailed structural surveys are now being completed. This will identify remedial works required and any interim safety measures which need to be put in place.

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, Leader of the Council, said: “Unfortunately councils up and down the country are facing the same issues as we are in Peterborough with buildings of a certain age built using RAAC.

“The detailed surveys that we are now carrying out on the Key Theatre and the Regional Pool will mean that we have a better idea of the work needed to ensure that the buildings are safe and when they may be able to reopen.

“Both operators are in contact with their customers and are working hard to limit disruption.

“We know this is disappointing news, but our priority has to be the safety of the staff at these locations and the public.”