THE headteacher of Elmvale Nursery has said the children were left devastated after vandals torched their play equipment whilst they were on holiday.
The nursery on Hawthorne Street is attended by around 70 children, all aged between three and five years old.
Grant MacLoud said: “The nursery children are obviously very upset this has happened to their playground and given that its summer, it means that not only can they not play on it but they can’t actually use their own playground.”
The blaze happened on Sunday evening, after the vandals broke into the ground causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
A climbing frame, picnic bench and rubber safety matting were all destroyed.
The equipment was bought after staff at the school applied for a special grant to give the children outside play equipment and furnishings on the premises.
Mr MacLoud said: “I believe it cost something in the region of £10,000. Obviously that’s not something we get from the general budget from the school, we were given it originally through a grant.
“Sadly it means that with things being as they are at the moment budget wise in the school, the chances of replacing it are not high.”
Mr Macloud believes the fire was not accidental, after bottles of turpentine were found lying aside the wreckage.
However, a generous charity has offered to help the children by providing a garden bench to start the renovation of the play area.
The charity, which offers support for ex-young offenders, will donate the restored bench for free.