Two teenage boys have been charged with arson following a major fire at a community centre in Wiltshire.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service were first called to a fire at Melksham Forest Community Centre on Bowman’s Court just before 6pm on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Fire crews attended from Chippenham and Trowbridge and were able to control the blaze by acting fast, however the fire has caused extreme damage to the centre’s changing rooms which have been left blackened and crumbling.

A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old boy were arrested by Wiltshire Police following the fire and have been charged with suspected arson. They are due to appear at Salisbury Youth Court on Monday morning (February 26) after being remanded in custody over the weekend.

A 14-year-old girl, who was also arrested, has been released on police bail without charge.

"Thankfully, no one was injured, however the fire had caused significant damage to the changing room side of the community centre, including external damage," said Jack, chair of Forest Community Centre.

"The fire didn’t spread into the main hall side, and we hope to have the centre operational as soon as possible.

"Investigations are currently being carried out from both the police and fire service into the cause of the fire," he added.

"This has caused a massive impact to the committee, to our users and to the community and I would like to thank everyone for their support and concern during the incident.

"A long process now starts to repair the building, and we will welcome any support to help with the repairs and the clear up operation."

Since the fire began on Friday, members of the community centre have now launched a GoFundMe page hoping to raise £5,000 to go towards the cost of repairing the building.

"As you may have heard, a fire ripped through our changing rooms and outside area, causing devastating damage," explained Leanne Daysh, organiser of the fundraiser.

"The result of this is all football has had to stop due to not having toilet facilities and changing rooms. This has, and will have, a huge impact on the community, especially those most important, the children, who access these facilities weekly.

"This whole set-up is voluntarily run by people who want to give the best opportunities to those around, and we are devastated.

"All funds received will go towards helping the clear up operation, repairs and getting children back to where they belong, playing the game they love."

Currently, the page has raised over £2,500.