Vandals force closure of Challenge Academy

Markeaton Park Challenge Academy

Fri 30 Jun 2017

The popular Challenge Academy adventure hub in Markeaton Park has been temporarily closed due to vandalism.

Inspections are currently taking place to see when the facility will re-open following a number of incidents.

The company are working with partners from the council, police and security firms to ensure safety.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Amo Raju, explained: 

 “Over last weekend the site was deliberately targeted by young people intent on vandalising the facility and causing criminal damage.

“This included permanent damage to the Powerfan and the zip-line which need replacing plus further damage to the general fabric of the site which could cost up to £20,000.

“Besides this damage they are also endangering themselves by using the equipment without supervision which is extremely dangerous. The company who run the academy are concerned that somebody may be seriously or fatally injured.

“Due to these actions by a thoughtless few the site will be closed for the coming weekend and possibly beyond while inspections take place. This will be disappointing for the many people, schools and youth groups who enjoy the academy.

“Staff at Challenge Academy (which is a not-for-profit community interest company) are greatly saddened by these events. Coming from teaching and military professions they hope to provide a challenging, adventurous and positive learning experience.

“Challenge Academy want to engage with local youngsters who may have carried out these incidents in an effort to show them a positive and challenging experience in a safe environment and to discuss the potential consequences of their actions.”

Anyone with any information about the incident should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.