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RAAC issue forces immediate closure of Bridgend Indoor Market

The Bridgend Indoor Market at the Rhiw Shopping Centre in Bridgend town centre has closed with immediate effect this afternoon (Wednesday 20 September 2023).

The closure has been deemed necessary in the interests of public safety after a specialist inspection carried out this morning confirmed that there may be a potential issue involving the use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) within the structure’s roof.

As a result, Bridgend County Borough Council has taken swift action to close the indoor market to allow further in-depth assessments and surveys to be carried out, and for next steps to be agreed.

Traders have been informed, and the council will keep them fully up to date on the situation as it develops. The closure of the market hall does not affect the adjacent Rhiw Shopping Centre, which remains open as normal.

Issues posed by the historic use of RAAC within the construction industry have been well publicised in recent weeks, and like other local authorities, Bridgend County Borough Council has been carrying out inspections of all council-maintained premises in line with national advice from UK Government and Welsh Government.

The inspection process has prioritised local schools, where no areas of concern have been identified. The authority is currently in the process of checking other premises and infrastructure, and carried out a visual inspection at the indoor market earlier this month as part of this process.

This determined that a more in-depth inspection by a Welsh Government-approved specialist was required, which was carried out this morning. The decision to close the indoor market has been based on their findings.

Further surveying is now being arranged to establish the extent of the RAAC issue, and what the long term implications may be. As the council leases the market hall, the authority is also contacting the private owners as a matter of urgency.

To date, the Bridgend Indoor Market is the only premises where a potential issue involving RAAC has been detected.

We recognise the inconvenience and potential hardship this will cause to traders and the impact the loss of the market will have as a popular and busy place where people shop, meet and socialise.

Bridgend Indoor Market remains at the heart of the town centre, and every effort is being made to ensure that this closure causes as little inconvenience as possible.

Further updates will follow.

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