Brand new children’s playground torched in Bath park

A brand new children’s playground being installed in a Bath park by a housing association has been torched in an arson attack.

The play area, which included swings and toddler equipment, was intended to give a new lease of life to Rosewarn Park in the Whiteway area of the city. Housing association Curo was given a £40k grant to buy and install the new playground — but at the weekend it was set on fire.

A spokesperson from Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called at 11:41pm on Saturday 22 June to reports of a fire at a play area in Rosewarn Park, Bath. Crews from Bath attended and found a fire involving play equipment.

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“Firefighters extinguished the blaze. The cause of the fire is thought to be deliberate.”

A neighbour told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “This isn't the first time there's been a fire in that park. I'm worried that they might start setting houses on fire next, which could lead to a tragedy.”

The playground before the fire -Credit:Curo
The playground before the fire -Credit:Curo

Speaking just a month ago as the play equipment was being installed, Carl McMurtry the director of estates at the housing association, had said: “We’re excited to be able to deliver this project for the community. When putting the plans together, we listened to the views of young people, community groups and councillors, and we hope that the new play equipment will be used and enjoyed by families from around the local area.”

Speaking after the fire, he added: “Curo works hard to provide spaces that are welcoming to all, and the new play area at Whiteway Green is a place for children and families to enjoy. That’s why this arson attack is so heartbreaking.

“We’re doing everything we can to engage with the community, and we’ve been working with local groups to improve the park for everyone. The playground was almost complete, but because of this senseless attack, the reopening will inevitably now be delayed. If we need to find the money to rectify the damage, then that will also have a negative knock-on effect, as it means there is less money to spend on other community projects.

“We’re aware that there are problems with anti-social behaviour in the area, and we continue to work with the police. Behaviour like this is unacceptable, and we need the community to work with us to send the message that it won’t be tolerated. If anyone has any information then we would urge them to contact us or the police as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “An arson offence has been recorded after play equipment in Rosewarn Close was damaged in a fire.

“If you witnessed this incident or have any information or footage which could help our enquiries, please call 101 and quote reference 5224164924.”