An investigation has been launched by Northumbria Police in response to an arson attack which caused up to £40,000 worth of damage at a sports ground in Newcastle.
Emergency services attended the scene at Bullockstead Sports Ground in Woolsington and put out a blaze after a generator was set on fire. A shed, fuel tank and a generator were all destroyed in the fire and a stolen motorbike was also found, burnt out, on the site.
The sports ground had recently been purchased by Newcastle City Council which had plans to create a new sports hub for the local community. The city council have confirmed the attack won’t delay the project but officers are now appealing for help from the local community to trace those responsible.
Neighbourhood Inspector Lesley Wheatley said: “We are treating this as an act of arson which has resulted in significant damage being caused.
“Someone has clearly forced entry to the site, broken metal shutters and set the shed alight before destroying the stolen bike. A criminal investigation is well under way to try to identify who may be responsible.
“This sports ground is at the heart of the community and had been earmarked for further development by the city council. It is sad that some people find it acceptable to commit these types of offences and I would call on residents in the area to help us find out who is responsible.”
Councillor Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture, sport and public health said:
“I am extremely disappointed at the apparent deliberate damage that has been caused at Bullockstead Sport Ground, a sport facility we recently acquired to be one of our Park Life developments.
“Our ambition for the site is to create a new multi-million pound sports facility that would include football and rugby facilities and Newcastle’s first cycling track. I can confirm that today’s incident will not delay this project.
“We will continue to support the police as they investigate this senseless act and remind residents that Newcastle is a friendly, neighbourly and inclusive city that does not tolerate activity of this nature.”