Mansfield District Council is assessing what actions to take following a fire that seriously damaged one of its sports pavilions in the town.
The blaze, which is being treated as arson, was started Mansfield Cricket Club’s pavilion in Chesterfield Road Park at around 9 pm on Boxing Day.
Fire crews swiftly put out the flames but the inside of the building suffered considerable damage. Parts of the pavilion were also vandalised by the intruders.
Cllr Andy Burgin, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure, said: “This was a terrible act of mindless criminal destruction and we hope those responsible are brought to justice swiftly.
“Our hearts go out to the cricket club at what must be a difficult time for them – these clubs are a vital part of our sports provision in the district and play such an important and positive role in the community.”
As well as serious damage to the pavilion, the council also lost a large quantity of resources it uses to deliver its nutrition sessions at school holiday clubs.
David Evans, the council’s head of Health and Communities, said: “We have lost a considerable amount of equipment, games and other resources that we use to deliver nutrition sessions during school holidays, in schools as part of the school curriculum and among various groups in the community. The pavilion was also used to prepare and cook food for these sessions.
“Losing all these valuable resources has been devastating for our team. This fire has destroyed a lot of their hard work built up over about seven years. Community resources like these cannot easily be replaced.”
The council is now liaising with its insurers, Nottinghamshire Police and affected parties to assess the situation and agree a programme of work to rectify the extensive damage, and how to respond to the needs of the cricket club in the coming months.
The club has set a Go Fund Me page (link to page opens in new window) to try to raise money to replace damaged equipment and help pay for any additional operating costs that it may incur during the upcoming season as a result of the fire. So far it has raised over £2,000 towards a £10,000 target.
The club has also been offered the option of applying for funding from the Mayor’s 500 Fund and the Robin Hood Lottery Community Fund.
Vice chairman of the club, the Rev Jake Hyatt, added: “It is bitterly disappointing to have a community sports club attacked in such a way. However, we are a club that aims to bring people of all ages and all backgrounds together and we will not be beaten by mindless violence.”
The crime is being linked to a burglary the same evening in Albion Street, which is close to the cricket club. A cricket stump was discovered there after it had been used to damage a door and window at the property at around 10pm.
Anyone with information about these incidents should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 497 of 26 December 2023. They can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.