HEXHAM's Forum Cinema has closed its doors until further notice after a discovery of asbestos. 

All performances at the cinema have been cancelled after the asbestos was found around some of the pipework in the projection room.

The discovery was made by surveyors looking at roof repair work on behalf of the building’s owners, JD Wetherspoon, but they confirmed that air tests have found no traces of asbestos fibres in the atmosphere.

Although it is believed there is no risk to staff or customers, all screenings at the cinema have been cancelled as a precautionary measure until specialist surveyors and asbestos removal contractors have finished their investigations.

A spokesman for the Forum Cinema said: “Asbestos was routinely used as a building material until its risks to health became known. It is usually completely harmless unless disturbed but we are restricting access to the affected parts of the building until remedial work can be carried out.

“It’s business as usual at Scott’s Café and our management offices, but we have cancelled performances in the auditorium until we know more."

He said staff were contacting customers with tickets to inform them of the closure. The cinema will be posting updates on social media.