Arson attack at the Park causes thousands in damage

Parkour FireBy Community Reporter Kasia Guzowska

A second arson attack this summer at The Park centre in Knowle has caused around £60,000 of damage to outdoor equipment.

Firefighters were called to the blaze in Daventry Road on Sunday 18 August, after a teenager noticed thick smoke rising from the grounds around 5.15pm.

‘Free running’ equipment installed last year was destroyed – with the incident coming a month after an attack to the same facility.

Deputy Director of Operations at the Park, Emma Hinton, said: “Total costs of damage are still up in the air, so we are still waiting for an amount, but at the moment its around £60,000.

“Staff at the centre are absolutely devastated that a minority is ruining something so well used by the community. We had young people travelling from as far as London to use it, as it is the biggest in the South West…”

She said they were currently waiting on replies from funders, as claiming damage off insurers would raise their premium.

Ms Hinton added: “We are trying to find other ways of raising the money, as it is difficult enough for us to make ends meet as it is…”

A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police said enquiries had established ‘the fire was started deliberately using an accelerant’.

He said: “… So far no one has been arrested in connection with the fire and we would appeal to anyone with information about the fire to contact us on 101 quoting 81631/13.”