Vandals have set fire to new play equipment in Arnot Hill Park causing £30,000 of damage .
Serious fire damage has been caused to the main tower in the play area, which will now have to be removed and the play area will remain closed.
A spokesman for Gedling Borough Council said: “We’re very sorry to report that the play area has been closed to due a fire. “
“The fire, which is believed to have been caused deliberately, has damaged the main tower slide in the children’s park and could cost £32,000 to repair.
“The park is expected to be closed for some time whilst the equipment is removed and the surface replaced.
“If anyone saw anything please contact the police. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and we will update you as soon as we have more information.”
The incident has been reported to Nottinghamshire Police and CCTV in the park is being looked at by the council’s Public Protection team.
The park was refurbished in June 2018 after it received £124,000 external funding thanks to a joint bid to WREN from the council and the Friends of Arnot Hill Park group.
A spokesman from Friends of Arnold Hill Park described the act as ‘selfish’.
In a post on their Facebook group they said: We’re devastated this morning to see the damage that’s been done to the climbing tower on the play area.
“We simply can’t understand the mindset and selfishness of people who would do this and destroy a piece of play equipment that we worked so hard to get funding for and the youngsters of Arnold and the surrounding area have been getting so much enjoyment from.”
Gedling MP Vernon Coaker slammed the ‘mindless’ vandals responsible.
In a tweet he wrote: “It’s a beautiful day in Gedling and local children are not able to go on the play equipment in Arnot Hill Park because of this mindless vandalism.
“I urge anyone that knows anything about who did this to report it to the police. Such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Gedling Borough Council, Mike Hill said; “This is an appalling act of vandalism on a children’s play area.
“We are working with the police to catch whoever did this damage and are studying the park’s CCTV for any evidence. If anybody saw anything, please contact the Police.”
Nottinghamshire Police say an official investigation has now begun.
A police spokesman said: “We received a call at around 10.35am on Tuesday (May 14, 2019) reporting that a slide had been burned.”
Inspector Chris Pearson, the neighbourhood policing inspector for Gedling Borough, said: “The main tower of the slide has been damaged beyond repair.
“We’re working with Gedling Borough Council to make enquiries, including reviewing any CCTV footage.
“We believe this happened some time through the night, and we encourage anyone who has any information to call 101, quoting incident 270 of 14 May 2019.”
Due to the damage, the park remains closed until further notice.