In September 2000, massive structural problems were discovered in the Royal Hall. Large areas of the 100 year-old concrete which made up much of the internal structure was found to be in a highly advanced state of decay. The situation was considered to be so dangerous that the Upper Balcony and some other parts of the building had to be immediately closed to the public. In November 2001, further structural problems were identified and these caused the building to be completely closed to public access. The Royal Hall then remained closed until its opening in April 2008.
The original discovery of concrete corrosion turned out to be just one of a number of serious structural problems. The north-east section of the building was found to be suffering from subsidence and mortar cementing the foundation's brickwork was decaying from the effects of salt corrosion.
Taken together, the structural problems affecting the Royal Hall would have been terminal. Without major restoration, the Royal Hall would have had to be closed and permanently boarded up. The only solution was a major rebuilding programme on both the interior and the foundations of the building.
The future of the now-restored Royal Hall is both immensely exciting and very challenging. The fundamental nature of the restoration work needed provided an unrepeatable opportunity to return this magnificent and historic building back to its original splendour. All of the ‘temporary fixes’ and unco-ordinated alterations which had so disfigured the Royal Hall over the decades were removed, and the building was faithfully reinstated back to Matcham’s original vision when it was described at its 1903 opening as “a palace of glittering gold”.