Xcite leisure centre in Linlithgow counts cost of late-night vandals

One of the damaged windows at the Xcite Leisure Centre
One of the damaged windows at the Xcite Leisure Centre
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A SPORTS centre and several cars were damaged in a spate of vandalism which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage in a Lothians town.

Police are appealing for 
witnesses after eight large windows at Xcite in Linlithgow were smashed overnight between Monday, July 30 and Tuesday, July 31, leaving the centre around £2000 out of pocket.

On the same night, hundreds of pounds worth of damage was caused to five cars in nearby Belsyde Court after wing mirrors were kicked off. Over the same period, plant pots in Avontoun Park were smashed.

The police are not ruling out the possibility that the vandal attacks are linked.

Bruce McCallum, chairman of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “It’s absolutely terrible that this has happened. It sounds like it has been kids who have done this to spoil other people’s enjoyment.

“The area around the leisure centre is quite respectable and I would not be surprised if this has been kids from outwith the area who have come in.

“I would urge anyone who knows anything about this to come forward.”

The broken windows at the Xcite centre – which provides sporting and leisure activities on behalf of West Lothian Council – have been covered in a protective film until repairs are made.

Chief executive of West Lothian Leisure, Robin Strang, said: “We are extremely disappointed that anyone would want to cause damage to the centre in Linlithgow.

“Thankfully, the damage was to the outside of the window so the centre can continue to operate as normal.

“We will aim to get the repairs carried out as soon as possible.

“When staff arrived at 5.45am they were shocked to find damage. Linlithgow is an extremely popular facility and customers are very proud of their local 
leisure centre.

“Thankfully, incidents of vandalism are very rare at Xcite Linlithgow and we certainly hope that this is a one-off.”

Lothian and Borders Police community inspector, Neill Whiteside, said: “We’re actively investigating both incidents and are considering the possibility that they might be linked.

“Vandalism is rare in the Linlithgow area, but cases like these cause disruption and cost money to repair, money which could have been spent on activities and services.

“We would like to appeal for witnesses to either incident to get in touch with us.”

Anyone with any information should contact the police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers in confidence and 
complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com