Minister urged to help arson-hit centre

A top Government minister is being urged to step in and help Belper’s Drop Inn Youth Centre following an arson attack there.

The News reported at the beginning of January how a £5,000 refurbishment at the centre had to be delayed following a blaze.

Now, the town’s MP, Mrs Pauline Latham, is asking The Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP who is the Minister with responsibility for the ‘Big Society’ to help.

MrHurd has previously visited the Drop Inn Centre and Mrs Latham hopes that his visit

will have inspired him to take a personal interest in its rebuilding.

In a letter to Drop Inn centre founder, Andrea Fox, Mrs Latham said: “I am very sorry to hear the Drop Inn Centre has been attacked by arsonists. I think this incident is very upsetting for the whole community and behaviour such as this is completely unacceptable.

“The actions of the arsonist who did this are totally shocking. I will be doing everything I can to support the Drop Inn Centre going forward.”

The fire was started at around 10.50pm on December 27.

The flames gutted a disused storage shed, affecting electricity supplies to the centre’s Jam Jar Music Studio and raising fears among neighbouring traders about the proximity of an electricity sub-station.

Firefighters said the blaze had been “started deliberately” and police were called in.

The Jam Jar studio won a county-wide Lloyds Bank public vote for a grant in October and while the start of its refurbishment has been delayed, Andrea Fox vowed the works would still go ahead.