A HUNT has been launched for youths who trashed a much-loved Wigan community centre.
The intruders scaled the walls of Sunshine House in Scholes and scrawled paint all over an outdoor activity area.
Centre manager Barbara Nettleton said specially designed murals and a host of equipment had been destroyed in the vandalism spree.
She remains hopeful
someone will be able to identify the offenders after trespassers were caught on CCTV at the time of the attack.
She said: “I don’t think they noticed the cameras until the last minute; they tried to cover their faces but by then it was too late.
They have helped themselves to a load of paint from an equipment store and everywhere is covered, it’s absolutely awful. I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve thisBarbara Nettleton
“They have helped themselves to a load of paint from an equipment store and everywhere is covered, it’s absolutely awful. I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve this.
“I think somebody will be able to recognise them.”
The CCTV images have been passed on to Greater Manchester Police and an investigation has been launched.
They show two youngsters - apparently teenagers - wearing T-shirts and shorts making their way to and from the crime scene.
Sunshine House is one of the borough’s flagship community centres, offering a range of services to residents throughout the week.
It has also been at the forefront of the council’s pioneering Deal scheme, which invests money into community projects to help the borough services cope with local authority budget cuts.
Ms Nettleton added: “We’ve had all this money invested in us and I’m ashamed that this has happened.
“The extent of the damage means we will have to get professional cleaners in.
“We’re hoping it will be covered by insurance but then our premium for next year will go up so it’s still costing us.
“It will cost the community to put it right.”
The attack is thought to have started at around 7pm on Sunday evening with the vandals spending about 30 minutes at the rear of the centre on Wellington Street.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Wigan Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.