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Fire that destroyed old Leicester church hall believed to be deliberate

The former church hall, which was a neighbourhood centre before it closed, was engulfed in flames. © Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

A fire that destroyed an old church hall in Highfields, Leicester, is believed to have been started deliberately. The former home of St Saviours Neighbourhood Centre went up in flames on Saturday, October 28.

Leicestershire Police said it was now investigating the blaze as arson. No arrests have been made and the force is urging anyone with information to come forward.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said the building would have to be demolished, after the fire led the roof to cave in. Six crews battled the flames at the height of the blaze.

The disused building had attracted vandals and other anti-social behaviour over the years, according to nearby residents. Despite this, some people living nearby said they had fond memories of the old neighbourhood centre. One woman, who said she had lived in the area her whole life, told LeicestershireLive that she and her two sisters got married in the centre in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The building that was once the “heart” of the area, local people said, was closed and abandoned in 2005 and fell into disrepair. Religious organisation, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) spoke of plans to buy the Grade-II listed church and the church rooms in 2017, hoping to restore them into a place of worship and community space. It was granted planning permission in 2022 for alterations to the main church building and work had begun.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the police on 101, quoting incident 688 of 28 October.


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