WHITEHAVEN'S newly restored lighthouse has been hit by vandals - less than 24 hours after it was unveiled to the public.

Yobs have smashed the glass windows of the West Pier lighthouse on the harbour following a ribbon cutting ceremony held only yesterday morning. Six of the new windows have been damaged overnight by firing large metal pellets at them, completely breaking one window and damaging the frame of another.

The incident has been reported to Cumbria Police and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners are looking to implement new security measures to deter any further vandalism.

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John Baker, CEO of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said it was really "disappointing" and "frustrating" to see the damage.

"It's a project for the community in the town of Whitehaven that we thought people would take great pride in.

"We were all obviously gutted to see what we saw this morning. We just can't understand why anyone would want to do that.

"It's frustrating and gutting but we are liaising with police so hopefully we may be able to take action in the future.

"It won't deter us. We believe in the project and we hope the vast majority of people will take great pride in it."

Mr Baker said the damage will be repaired but it would not be a cheap or easy job. "We are not going to let it stop us. We are going to continue our progress around the harbour.

"When we look at all the feedback we've had, it's been absolutely fantastic and that just makes us feel really proud.

A huge amount of people do appreciate it. "For one or two individuals to try and fly in the face of us is not going to work."

Chris Hayes, mayor of Whitehaven, who was at the unveiling ceremony, said: "It's unbelievable. I'm beyond gutted. I can't believe the lovely morning we had yesterday.

"I was down at the ceremony and people were so pleased to see the lighthouse and the way it looks.

"It doesn't bear thinking about. I don't know what the answer is. I'm at a loss. It must be soul destroying for John Baker.


"This is our heritage. This is our town. Help us keep it clean and tidy and smart in appearance.

"Then maybe the shops will start opening up again. People will come and visit and put money back into the economy.

"We need to get these people on board."

Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners secured £144k of funding to bring the North Pier and West Pier lighthouses back to their former glory. Work on the North Pier lighthouse is due to be completed next month.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: "Police were called at 1:38pm today (April 12) to the report of criminal damage having been caused to the West Pier Lighthouse, Whitehaven. The incident occurred between 8pm on April 11 and 8:30am on the April 12.

"Six windows, which had been newly refurbished were smashed, cracked or damaged."

A spokesperson for Whitehaven’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We share the community’s frustration and disappointment in the actions of those involved. This was a senseless act of criminal damage by one or a few people.

“We are investigating this incident and would appeal to the public for help in identifying those responsible.” Anyone with information relating to this incident can report online via www.cumbria.police.uk/reportit , quoting incident number 106 of the April 12. You can also phone on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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