Rayleigh's much-loved Mill Hall has been suddenly closed as Rochford Council has issued a statement to residents.

The arts and events centre in Bellingham Lane has been closed temporarily as repairs to the fire alarm system are being arranged as a "matter of urgency" due to a fault.

Rochford Council has been contacting those with immediate bookings to inform them of the situation - and a number of classes and events today have been forced to cancel suddenly.

A council spokesman said: "Due to a fault with the fire alarm system at Mill Arts and Events Centre in Rayleigh, Rochford District Council will be temporarily closing the building.

"This temporary closure is to ensure that robust mitigation plans can be put in place to ensure the safety of users of the building, our staff and to protect the building. Repairs to the system are also being arranged as a matter of urgency.

"Today, we have been contacting those with immediate bookings for the centre to update them of the current situation.

"We will issue further updates once we have more information on a timeline for reopening."