Vandals have been condemned after damaging ornate panel work installed as part of the restoration of a popular park.

Type=image;ImageID=3471;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Damaged decorative railings at East Park;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=3473;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Damaged decorative railings;TitleClass=strong;

East Park is currently undergoing a transformation to return it to its former glory, which includes the restoration of its boathouses.

But vandals attacked the decorative railings around the two boathouses overnight on Wednesday (5 March, 2014), causing damage to the ornate display.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "I really do have to question the motives of people who would carry out this sort of mindless vandalism.

"The council and the Heritage Lottery Fund are putting a great deal of effort into the restoration of East Park, and it is disappointing that anyone would feel the need to carry out an act like this - particularly as so many people have been supportive of the work that it taking place.

"We're now investigating the extent of the damage which will determine whether the metalwork can be repaired in situ or whether a replacement needs to be made, which will cost both time and money."

He added: "The matter has been reported to the police, and I'd urge anyone who knows who was responsible or who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the park on Wednesday evening to contact police as soon as possible."

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101.

The £1.5 million restoration of the Victorian park, supported by a £981,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, began in early 2012. The boathouses are just one element of the work - East Park's refurbished clock tower and bandstand were unveiled last year, while work is continuing on repairs to the main entrances, lake bed and the terracotta balustrades on the terraces.

The park was officially saved for future generations by a legal covenant last year and Councillor Mattu said: "By restoring it to its former glory we're ensuring that East Park will remain a popular facility for the people of Wolverhampton for many years to come."

  • released: Friday 7 March, 2014