Vandals cut up school sports pitch

VANDALS have caused extensive damage to the astroturf pitch at a Lothians school.

The culprits cut holes in the perimeter fence of the artificial pitch at Ross High School in Tranent over the weekend.

A spokesman said it was difficult to put an exact cost on repairs, but said it was likely that the bill would run into thousands of pounds.

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Specialist contractors have been called in to carry out repairs.

At this stage, FES FM, which manages the Ross High complex including the pitch, said it is waiting to hear from its contractors about how long the pitch will be unavailable.

Ian Westwater, from FES FM, said: "The pitch is used extensively by both the school and the community. Users range from local youth clubs, adult football and hockey clubs, as well as members of the local community for five and seven- a-side football.

"The non availability of the pitch results in all of these users not being able to play their chosen activity. This is a community facility for the people of Tranent and this kind of mindless vandalism has such a negative effect on everyone concerned."

Dorothy Bartholomew, headteacher at Ross High, said: "We are really disappointed. Even the temporary loss of this facility will have an impact on our sports programme."