A PARK in Droitwich has reopened just over a month after it was destroyed by fire.

Thousands of pounds of damage was caused to the Lido Park in the town after it was set alight on July 2.

Following the blaze, estate agent Matt Nicol and his colleagues set about collecting enough money to build a new park, and thanks to local businesses and members of the public the campaign raised £16,300 of the £23,000 needed to replace the park.

Costs were further reduced when the Droitwich Fire Station staff gave their time for free to clear the area, meaning the new play area was installed and opened on Friday.

Mr Nicol said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has donated to the fundraising page including some companies that have made some very significant donations. Also, personally I would like to extend my thanks to Lynn Stevens and her colleagues at Wychavon District Council for being instrumental in the turnaround to get the new equipment in situ. I hope the children enjoy it for many years to come.”

The new play area includes slides and climbing frames, and two picnic benches, a see-saw and a van sprinter are all due to be delivered soon.

Lynn Stevens, parks officer at Wychavon, said: “I’m so thrilled that we’ve been able to get this area back up and running without eating into the summer holidays too much. It’s very distressing to us when any damage is done to the parks we work so hard to develop and maintain, but it’s so gratifying to know that the local residents and businesses value them as much as we do.”

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service group commander, George Marshall, said: “The firefighters who extinguished the fire live and work in Droitwich and as such have strong links with the local community. Firefighters assisted the clear up following the fire and then the station got together as a whole to organise a charity car wash to raise funds for new equipment. It is pleasing to see the park reopen so quickly.”

(Bullet point?) Last month a 17-year-old boy — who cannot be named for legal reasons — admitted his part in the fire.

The teenager pleaded guilty on the basis that he set fire to a 2cm area of slide before putting it out again and that when he left the play area was not ablaze.

A Newton Hearing will now take place to establish the facts of the case, before the teenager is sentenced.