A youth hub which was damaged during an arson attack at a Dudley charity will have to be demolished, devastated bosses said today.
Managers at St Thomas’s Network in Kates Hill have been left shattered by the blaze which caused thousands of pounds of damage.
The youth building at the community centre in Beechwood Road was gutted by the fire and bosses say it is beyond repair and will have to be knocked down. They have also renewed their appeal for firms and individuals to help provide CCTV cameras.
These would be used to help protect the site from further attacks.
The charity has been able to use other rooms at its base so it could continue to provide its youth activities during the summer holidays.
A fun day will take place tomorrow.
Jennifer Gregory, from the charity’s senior management team, said: “Because of the extent of the damage, the building will have to be knocked down. We are still deciding to what to do after that.
“We are carrying on with our youth provision using different rooms. We are still looking for anyone who can help with security.”
The youth building had housed new equipment and table tennis tables for teenagers to use during weekly events.
The fire broke out during the early hours of Tuesday last week.
Four crews of firefighters spent up to four and a half hours putting out the blaze and damping down. They also worked to stop the fire spreading to nearby buildings.
The youth hub is sited next to St Thomas’ medical centre and is close to garages and other buildings which form part of the charity community centre.
Insurance assessors will analyse the damage.
It is thought to have been caused after vandals broke in through a window.
Steve Waltho, chairman of the board of trustees at St Thomas’ Network, has spoken of his shock following the arson attack.
He said the charity group provided ‘a lifeline’ for people who were living in what is one of the Dudley borough’s most deprived areas.
Mr Waltho said he hoped Dudley Council might be able to offer advice and support over what the organisation can do to aid its youth operation in the meantime.
Anyone who is able to help can contact 01384 818990.