Health and safety ban for balcony

The new signs outside the Reid Hall in Forfar.
The new signs outside the Reid Hall in Forfar.

Concert goers at the Reid Hall in Forfar were left bewildered recently when they were unable to take their seats in the balcony.

Many were turned away and asked to sit downstairs due to “health and safety”.

One member of the audience, who did not wish to be named, said: “There were a lot of people who went upstairs only to be told they had to sit downstairs because of health and safety issues.

“A lot of people were quite surprised and were wondering what the problem was, given the fact the building has not long re-opened after a major renovation programme.”

The 800-capacity venue re-opened in November following an £186,000 revamp financed with £176,500 from Forfar Common Good Fund, with a top up from the council to enhance the wi-fi capacity in the building.

The main hall, meeting rooms and changing facilities were refurbished, the kitchen was upgraded and a new servery installed.

Another key element of the works was improved access to the building for people with disabilities.

Two digital advertising boards have also been positioned on either side of the front of the building; these have also come in for some criticism from members of the public who feel they are not in keeping with the building which was donated by Provost Peter Reid and opened in 1871.

Despite repeated requests made to Angus Council since Thursday, at the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), no comment was available.

From December 1 the Reid Hall and a number of the council’s other venues have been operated by Angus Alive, the county’s new culture and leisure trust.