Belper bowls club “shocked” after arson damage racks up £5,000 bill

Arson damage to Belper Meadows Bowls Club.
Arson damage to Belper Meadows Bowls Club.

Officials at a Belper sports club say they are in “total shock” after arsonists caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Intruders broke into the grounds of Belper Meadows Bowls Club and burned down one of the shelters along with six benches and 30 chairs.

The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday at the club, which is based at Christchurch Meadows, just off Bridge Street.

Graham Sheldon is secretary for the club.

He says whoever committed the offence had to scale a large fence to do so.

“It was a total shock that it happened,” Graham told the Belper News.

“Whoever has done it has scaled the fence to do so.

“I’d say it has cost about £5,000 worth of damages.

“It’s definitely a cost we could do without.

“Having said that, we have had a generous donation from a local firm.

“Everyone has been quite helpful.

“The police came down and they gave us the go-ahead to clear the area.

“We’re clearing the area and have moved the ash and burnt-out chairs.

“Because of all the damage we thought the best thing to do was to re-turf the area.

“Everybody has mucked down and helped out.”

The club also suffered at the hands of arsonists back in 2009.

A similar incident ended up with the club having to put their hands in their pockets to repair the damage.

This latest attack comes less than a year after the Belper Meadows Sports Club saw plans to build a 574 square metre pavilion approved by Amber Valley Borough Council.

The ambitious project would see a new building replace the two current dilapidated pavilions and revamped changing facilities being built.

But with that project reliant on funding, this latest incident has hit the club’s coffers hard.

Graham added: “We’re a very self-sufficient club.

“We’ve got to take it on the chin.

“Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about the crime is advised to contact PC Lee Sadler on 101, quoting incident number 283 of April 2.