Arsonists target £130k playground

Fire damage at Farington park
Fire damage at Farington park

Arsonists have destroyed a children’s playground just weeks before a £130,000 refurbishment was due to be unveiled.

Farington play area, on Stanifield Lane, was targeted around 6pm on Saturday, and a new climbing frame has been burnt to a crisp.

Up to £30,000 of damage was caused before the fire service arrived, and the area was filled with thick, black smoke.

Vandals ripped up the underlay for a new safety surface and set fire to it, and contractors will have to start from scratch on preparation work for the grand opening at the end of March.

The news has been met with dismay in the community. Farington councillor Mike Otter said: “It’s a very terrible and selfish thing to do, especially so close to the park’s revamp being finished. I hope this doesn’t delay the opening.

“It may mean the piece of equipment is fenced off for a few weeks while it’s repaired.

“It’s such a shame. People have really been looking forward to seeing the park finished.”

A fire crew from Bamber Bridge spent around 20 minutes extinguishing flames after receiving numerous calls. They received the first call at 6.13pm.

A spokesman said: “There was a lot of smoke, but nobody at the park when we arrived.

“The play equipment and rubber matting had been set on fire deliberately.”

- For the full story, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.