Action on asbestos means Alban Arena reopening soon

The Alban Arena in St Albans should be reopening soon.

The Alban Arena in St Albans should be reopening soon. - Credit: Alan Davies

After months of closure, the Alban Arena should be reopening its doors in the late spring.

The popular entertainment venue was closed at short notice in December after it was discovered that asbestos had become exposed in a ceiling.

Some particles of asbestos dust had fallen onto the stage equipment below, though air tests showed there was no immediate risk to performers, staff or the audience.

Building owners St Albans district council (SADC) decided to cancel the annual pantomime and the early 2022 programme as a precaution.

Work to decontaminate the area and remove asbestos is being carried out at an estimated cost of £237,000 and is scheduled to be completed later this month.

The Arena will then be back in action shortly after final safety checks are completed and bookings confirmed.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, chair of SADC's public realm committee, said: “This is a most unfortunate event, but we have moved swiftly to minimise the disruption it has caused by wasting no time in initiating repair work.

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“It was a terrible shame that the pantomime had to be cancelled along with some other acts, but I’m sure our residents will understand that we had no other option with health and safety being our paramount concern.

“If all the necessary works go to schedule, we hope that a reopening is now only a month or two away.

“Asbestos was used in the construction of the Arena more than 50 years ago like other buildings of a similar age and we follow statutory regulations, including regular inspections, to ensure it is kept safe.”