Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)

Following the news of the closure of the Royal & Derngate due to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and the earlier closure of the Brunton, Theatres Trust has commented.

Director Jon Morgan said:

Theatres Trust worked with colleagues at ABTT to provide guidance on RAAC earlier this year when we first became aware of the risks, urging theatres to check their buildings and if RAAC is present or suspected, to seek specialist advice. We will continue to update that guidance based on new information as it comes to light.

To date we are aware of two theatres where RAAC has been found and they have taken immediate and decisive action to close pending further investigation.  

RAAC was mainly used in the 1950s to 1980s in a range of buildings, including some schools, courts, hospitals and theatres. It will not be present in all theatre buildings and even some theatres originally constructed within that period may have had the RAAC replaced in subsequent building works.

We would reiterate our advice to theatres who are concerned that they may have RAAC in their buildings to seek guidance from specialist structural engineers.  

Update 6 September 2023

Since we issued this statement on Tuesday 5 September, the presence of RAAC has been confirmed in some more theatres:

  • Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
  • Core Theatre, Solihull
  • National Theatre, London
  • The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
  • Royal & Derngate Theatres, Northampton
  • St David’s Hall, Cardiff
  • Sands Theatre, Carlisle

Note that the presence of RAAC in a building could be in limited areas and it does not mean it will need to close. If after inspection the RAAC is identified as being in good condition or if mitigating safety measures are put in place and appropriate risk assessments carried out, the theatre operator/owner may decide that the building can stay open.