Specialists have been drafted in after a survey uncovered the killer material in the roof void of the former theatre on Stockton High Street, reports the Stockton Gazette.
Work to remove the asbestos, as part of a multi-million refurbishment, is expected to take 10 weeks. But Stockton Council says The Globe will still reopen as planned in winter 2018-19.
A £300,000 contract to deal with the asbestos was awarded in order inspect the area and complete an advanced works package to remove asbestos-containing materials.
A council spokeswoman said:
“The council is working hard to ensure The Globe can reopen as quickly as possible and that’s why we have been carrying out surveys and investigative works, as well as making the building watertight and safe.
As part of this, areas containing asbestos have been identified and at the moment, specialist contractors are removing this from the building.
We are now at the last stages of these preparatory works ahead of the final Heritage Lottery Fund decision, which is expected in the summer.”
It was originally hoped The Globe, which closed as a concert venue in 1975 and a bingo hall in 1997, would reopen in 2012. But a series of delays, including protracted wrangling over grant funding, pushed it back six years as the scale of the restoration mounted.
And in March 2016, cash-strapped Stockton Council’s contribution soared from £1.15m to £3.25m as additional funds were allocated to the project.
In its heyday, the Stockton High Street venue once played host to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Speaking in March, Leader of Council Bob Cook said completion of the 2,500 capacity live venue will have a “transformational impact” on Stockton’s High Street. He said:
“The restoration will have a huge economic impact, increasing footfall in its shops, bars and eateries as well as further boosting its reputation as a vibrant live music and festival town.”