Yobs start blaze at Corby tennis centre

Corby Tennis Centre manager Craig Haworth surveys the damage caused after vandals set fire to advertising banners attached to the club's perimeter fence.

Corby Tennis Centre manager Craig Haworth surveys the damage caused after vandals set fire to advertising banners attached to the club's perimeter fence.

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Yobs have caused hundreds of pounds damage when they set fire to windbreaks at Corby Tennis Centre.

The arson attack happened on Friday at about 10pm when a resident living near the outdoor courts, off Rockingham Road, contacted the fire service. Three windbreaks, each costing £500, were destroyed and the heat from the blaze warped the metal fence surrounding the courts.

Craig Howarth, who runs the complex with his wife Juliette, said: “I’m furious and disappointed. This is just mindless vandalism. The people responsbile have gained nothing and we have lost out.

“The money which will be spent to replace the windbreaks could have been used on events for the community.”

Mr Haworth found out about the arson attack when he was contacted by the police on Saturday morning.

He said: “There is a group of people in their late teens, early 20s who gather on the field between the tennis centre and the hotel to drink. We have reported the matter to the police.”

The outdoor courts opened two years ago thanks to a £350,000 investment by the Lawn Tennis Association.

Mr Haworth said: “My wife and I set this up as a not-for-profit company three years ago and it has not been easy.

“We ensured the investment for the outdoor courts, to bring affordable year-round tennis to the local community, and this is how a mindless minority repays us. We have just put on two free open days recently and involved more than 2,000 primary children in the centre.

“Despite this, there are idiots who think it’s fun to set fire to a facility that is here for the whole community.”