A DONATION has been received at a Newport primary school after children were left devastated as vandals set their play boat on fire.

Head teacher at Malpas Court Primary School on Whittle Drive, Debra Guy, was made aware of the blaze when the caretaker opened up the school at 7am on July 30.

The fire destroyed the children’s play boat that had been donated to the school about a year ago, and the school doesn’t have the funds to replace it.

After reading about the story in The South Wales Argus, The Newport Branch of Principality building society contacted the school to make a donation of £200 towards the purchase of a new boat.

Mrs Guy said: “The principality fully engaged in our Inspire to Aspire event held in May and we at Malpas Court feel privileged to have such strong community links. Thank you from all the children at Malpas court primary school.”

The life size wooden boat – which was complete with a cabin and big enough for eight pupils to climb aboard – had been renovated and repainted to make it suitable for the children to play on.

The school had also purchased fancy dress outfits and toys along the sailing and pirate theme to aid the children’s imagination as they used the apparatus.

But on June 29, at 7.30pm, fire crews were called to the school by a member of the public after seeing flames at the site.

Fire crews also contacted Gwent Police, who also attended the scene, as they believe that the fire was started deliberately.

Mrs Guy said: “The children, who are aged between four and seven years old, had no end of fun playing on the boat and after they were told of the fire they were very distraught.

“The children loved the boat and being able to get into different characters and they learn so much from it, so it is a great shame that they will no longer have it.”

Gwent Police said that enquiries are still ongoing and if anyone has information they are asked to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log 529 29/06/14.