A £20,000 fundraiser to replace play equipment destroyed by arsonists in Armley Park has been launched by defiant volunteers ‘who have pledged to ‘fight for its upkeep’.
As reported by WLD, arsonists destroyed the climbing boulders and the surrounding soft surfacing at the new playground area of Armley Park – seven months after opening following a fundraising campaign by local residents.
A swing was also vandalised, a mini roundabout burnt and a tree was snapped.
But volunteers from the Friends of Armley and Gotts Park group yesterday launched a fundraiser to replace the equipment, and have already raised hundreds of pounds in a matter of a few hours.
Cat Hyde, from the Friends, said: “Armley Park is a much loved and needed green space for Armley residents; the park is our garden, and we will fight for its upkeep.
“As a group we have spent years campaigning for a new playground for Armley. The old one was not fit for purpose, and we believed the kids of Armley deserved better.
“In March this year, our dream came true, and phase 1 of the new playground was officially opened. It isn’t a bog standard playground; we dared to dream big and think outside the box.
“Not only has the equipment gone or been ruined, the fire has damaged the specialist flooring. This was not a small fire but a deliberate arson attack.”
Ms Hyde said the play equipment is unlikely to be insured, or the excess will be too significant and that the Friends have decided to fundraise to ensure Armley’s kids do not go without for too long. It is estimated the equipment and flooring will cost approximately £30,000 to replace.
She added: “As we have done in the past, we will liaise and work with the police and community leaders to see what can be done to stop this problem from reoccurring.”
You can donate to the appeal here.
Armley Park boasts a zip wire, swings, roundabout, climbing boulders, slide, wheelchair-accessible equipment and is on different levels to add interest.
These antisocial brats have been trying to destroy the new play park in Pudsey before its even been completed, we need permanent bans on kids coming into the area from other areas, there’s gangs of them , all set on wrecking the area, its a waste of money renewing our park just for them to ruin