A CHILDREN’S centre has been forced to close for at least two weeks after a suspected arson attack.

The fire in an industrial sized wheelie bin caused damage to the outside panels of Mosley Common Children’s Centre meaning that it will be unable to offer its services while the damaged parts are replaced.

Fire crews were called to the centre at about 7pm on Sunday and stayed on the scene until a keyholder arrived.

Children’s centre manager Lyndsey Daly said: “Someone has set fire to a wheelie bin around the back of the centre which has completely melted and damaged all the exterior wall panels.

“We have been forced to close the children’s centre for at least two weeks while the panels are replaced but the nursery, which is in the same building will remain open.

“We are a very busy centre and offer a lot of activities for parents and their children, we have moved as many sessions as we can to other centres but it is still not great.”

The Sure Start centre is run by Wigan Council and is located behind St John’s Primary School on Commonside.

“The fire was started right next to a store room so a lot of our equipment, such as sensory equipment and children’s toys, now stinks of smoke and may have to be replaced,” Lyndsey said.

“We would really like anyone who saw anything to come forward. We are part of the community and believe it must have been someone from the area.

“We can’t understand why anybody would something like this.”

Crews from Farnworth extinguished the fire and the police are investigating the incident which they are treating as arson.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.