A COMMUNITY leader has warned that he may shut a publicly owned centre after a spate of vandalism has undone thousands of pounds worth of improvements.

Cllr Des Barlow, who has been involved in the North Scale Community Centre on Walney for more than 30 years, has begun to question 'whether it has all been worth it' after vandals spray-painted the letters 'NGAB' on shutters.

The Mail: VANDALISM: Graffiti at North Scale Community CentreVANDALISM: Graffiti at North Scale Community Centre

"They have run along and scratched the newly painted panels and on the shutters they have written NGAB in big letters," he said.

"I am just getting sick of this; I am fed up with them doing this. "I have put many years of my life into the community centre. We have just put in new panels and painted the building and they have scarred that new paint. "I just don't see the point in doing it.

"The way it is going with the community centre I would just rather shut it down than see this continue and that would ruin what we have for everyone."

The centre has been standing for just over 24 years but the site itself has been in the area for decades.

The Mail: VANDALISM: Graffiti at North Scale Community CentreVANDALISM: Graffiti at North Scale Community Centre

Recently thousands of pounds has been put in to refurbish the community-run hall and play area which houses local dance groups and many other locally run organisations.

It was built by the people of North Scale and it is maintained by them.

It is not owned by the council and relies solely on the people of the area.

The Mail: SCRATCHES: Vandalism at North Scale Community CentreSCRATCHES: Vandalism at North Scale Community Centre

"You don't just go around with a can of spray paint," Cllr Barlow said.

"I have enough on my plate with all this Covid stuff going on.

"I have been a councillor for over 23 years and it is things like this that make me think was it all worth it."

A previous break in at the centre led to the committee having to invest in a new door with a highly secure lock.

The Mail: COMMUNITY: North Scale Community CentreCOMMUNITY: North Scale Community Centre

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Constabulary said: "Police were called on January 7 at around 1.30pm to a report of criminal damage at North Scale Community Centre, Barrow.

"The damage is reported to have occurred between the December 24, 2020 and January 7, 2021.

"During the incident, wooden panels and shutters to the building were damaged.

"Investigations are ongoing and anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting incident number 84 of January 7."

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