A COMMUNITY which was destroyed by arsonists has played host to the launch of Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Summer arson campaign.

Golden Boy Green Community Centre in South Bank – named after Middlesbrough FC legend Wilf Mannion – was set alight in February 2009 leaving the local community devastated.

The £1m Redcar and Cleveland Council building was eventually rebuilt and opened again in 2011.

And today, (Friday, July 11) the arson campaign launch coincided with the launch of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s Early Help Zone in South Bank, a pilot initiative to promote the interests of children living in South Bank.

Youngsters from three local schools – South Bank Primary School, St Margaret’s Primary School and St Peter’s Primary School – came together with firefighters and community leaders for the launch event.

Phil Lancaster, director of community protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “People living and working in the vicinity of Golden Boy Green Community Centre know as well as anyone how arson can devastate a local community and this is why we have chosen the location for our campaign launch.

“Despite the shocking and thoughtless attack on the community centre, local people have shown great strength and resilience to fight back and demonstrate that they will not be beaten by arson.”

If anyone wants to report any suspected arsonists confidentially they should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Alternatively, call the police non emergency number 101.