THE Civic Hall in Nantwich is being forced to close down temporarily after the discovery of potentially lethal asbestos.
The substance was found in the roof during risk-assessment studies and the main hall will be shut for six weeks from July 4 while experts remove it.
A Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council spokesman said that in the meantime checks were being carried out every two weeks as a precaution.
Prompt action by Civic Hall staff once the discovery was made means that most people who had booked the hall in July and August have had their events moved to other venues rather than cancelled.
Manager Dave Thomas said: 'I think we have found other venues for all but one of the bookings. Some events have been moved to Brine Leas School and others to the Oakley Centre in Crewe.
'The closure affects the main downstairs hall. The Peggy Killick Suite on the first floor will remain open and there will be no danger whatsoever to the public.'
Nantwich Town Council chairman Penny Butterill said: 'Once the asbestos was discovered, the borough council had no alternative to removing it because it is a banned substance these days.
'It is a shame the hall has got to be closed down, but most people are being accommodated elsewhere and the closure will be relatively short.'
Borough councillor Donald Potter said: 'In certain circumstances asbestos is dangerous. If left alone it is completely harmless, but it becomes dangerous if it broken up and particles get into the air.
'Once the council discovered it at the Civic Hall, action had to be taken to ensure its removal.'