Staff fear redundancy as St David’s Hall is set to close until 2025 for major repairs
Staff at St David’s Hall in Cardiff say they could be offered redundancy or redeployment following news that the venue will be closed until 2025 for the roof to be completely replaced.
Experts who have been carrying out checks on the classical music venue, which contains reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its ceiling, said several panels in the roof are ‘red-critical’ and others are ‘red-high risk’.
The findings of a Cardiff Council report on the inspection suggests St David’s Hall could be closed for about 18 months whilst the installation of a new roof and refurbishment work is carried out.
The venue has been the subject of takeover talks with the Academy Music Group (AMG) which has told the council it remains committed to investing in St David’s Hall, and wishes to proceed with a transaction that will see it take on the running of the building.
However, trade unions representing staff at St David’s Hall say their members have “no guarantee” of future work for the council.
BBC Radio Wales
Emma Garson, Cardiff county branch secretary at UNISON, told BBC Radio Wales Drive: “Some of our members have worked to St David’s Hall since the 1990s, when we played host to stars, including Sir Tom Jones and Elton John.”
“There is a chance of voluntary redundancy for those who take it.”
“But for those who want to stay working for Cardiff Council, they will be offered redeployment but that doesn’t come with a guarantee of a job for very specialist staff.”
“We are hopeful that our staff can remain in Cardiff Council if what they want, but that does come with a risk and if they’re not successful then it will be compulsory redundancy.”
Ms Garson says the union has asked St David’s owners to share job opportunities at other Cardiff arts venues with staff at risk.
She added: “We are also hopeful when AMG do reopen they will consider our experienced and valued members from full employment in the new value, but there’s no guarantees.”
“That means our members at the moment are left with job security fears.”
Cardiff Council say no decision will be made on the future of St David’s Hall until after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
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