08 May 24

East Lothian Council update about The Brunton building

East Lothian Council have issued an update regarding the survey work taking place at The Brunton - which includes the spaces leased by Brunton Theatre Trust.

The council's engineering team have been working with Narro’s (structural engineering consultants) to assess the condition of the RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) within the Brunton Hall.

As a result of the condition affecting some areas of the Musselburgh building, significant affected parts have been mothballed for some time to ensure that all staff and visitors using areas that are operational remain safe. 

Council teams have had to react to this situation and ensure contingency plans were enacted to maintain service delivery.

The scale of RAAC installed across the building, its condition and need for safe access to all roof spaces have presented significant challenges to the team. 

The invasive technical testing undertaken has uncovered further issues within the roof structure and overall building that require to be addressed.  The team are continuing to develop a detailed options appraisal which will inform on all of the issues the Brunton Hall presents and the range of solutions that may be applied as mitigation.  Unfortunately due to the complexity of the issue, this has taken longer than anticipated.

When the options report is complete and approved through the Council’s governance structure, which includes Council members, a further statement outlining the options will be released by East Lothian Council.

East Lothian Council

Brunton Theatre Trust leases Venues 1 & 2 and the Theatre within the Brunton building.

“Brunton Theatre Trust is dedicated to bringing the very best theatre, music, dance, comedy, children’s theatre, screenings and entertainment to East Lothian - sharing it with as many people as possible. While we await updates about the future of The Brunton building in Musselburgh, we are presenting our shows and participatory projects at alternative venues in the County – mainly the Corn Exchange in Haddington and Loretto Theatre and Northesk Parish Church, in Musselburgh. We also continue to support the wonderful range of community arts organisations to present their shows at these venues as well.

“Our message to our audiences is, please do come and enjoy The Brunton experience at these alternative venues. We have the same high-quality programme ready for you to enjoy, and a warm welcome awaits.”

Michael Stitt Chair of Brunton Theatre Trust

In 2022 the UK Government advised all local authorities to check as a matter of urgency whether any public buildings in their estates have roofs, floors, cladding or walls made of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).
RAAC is a lightweight form of precast concrete, frequently used in public sector buildings in the UK from the mid-1960s to at least the mid-1980s. It is mainly found in roofs, although occasionally in floors and walls. It is less durable than traditional concrete and there have been issues raised as a result, which could have significant safety consequences.
RAAC was identified within parts of The Brunton building, including the performance areas. In the interests of health and safety, affected areas had to be closed to allow survey work to take place.

The original article can be read here.

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