POLICE believe a fire that ripped through a derelict Stourport school building was the result of an arson attack.

Officers are appealing for witnesses following the incident at the former Stourport High Sixth Form building, near Burlish Park Primary School, on Windermere Way, shortly after 2.15pm on Saturday, May 12.

Although the building was abandoned, it was still filled with furniture and equipment.

West Mercia Police also believe the fire is linked to a separate incident that happened at the disused Wyre Forest Golf Centre on Zortech Avenue in Kidderminster which was reported at around 3.45pm on the same day

PC Sam Maher said: "Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire, but we do believe it was started deliberately. We are speaking to local residents about the incident and reviewing CCTV in the area.

"From a police perspective, I want to be clear that we will investigate any criminal offences reported to us in relation to the building.

"When it comes to any disused building our message is clear, please keep out for your own safety."

“We would also urge parents to reiterate safety messages to their children, reminding them of the dangers of trespassing and playing on derelict sites.

Wyre Forest District Council chairman Councillor David Little said the building should have been demolished months ago, as part of planning consent conditions for Stourport High’s new Sixth Form Block.

He said: “We are lucky the wind was blowing in the right direction as the fire could have spread to the primary school. That building should not have been there for the fire to happen.”

Chris King, chief executive of Severn Academies Educational Trust, said the issue of the former sixth form block was “complex”.

He added they were looking to sell the disused building, potentially for housing, to fund further improvements to Stourport High School, including enhancing community sports facilities.

He added: “It continues to be a complex and lengthy planning application and we are working with local planners to extend the timescale for demolition of the sixth form building.”

Anyone who has seen people entering the building or any suspicious activity in the area is urged to call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident number 391 of Saturday 12 May.

The incident number for the golf club fire is 454 of Saturday 12 May.

Alternatively you can contact the anonymous charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.