A FORMER children’s centre has been destroyed in a fire.

It is the third blaze in just a few months at the centre at Barlow Park playing fields, off Barlow Park Avenue, Astley Bridge.

Crews were called to the building at 2.15am yesterday. They spent 30 minutes bringing the flames under control at the single-storey building.

Bolton Council building inspectors have now said the centre, which had been earmarked for demolition, will be demolished this week.

Martin Rimmer, the council’s development manager for building control, said: “The building has been disused for some time and this is the third fire we’ve had here in recent months.

“ It had been due for demolition. But after what has happened, that will be brought forward and should happen sometime this week.” The centre, which was run by the council, closed in March.Firefighters were at the scene for four hours and a relief crew was at the site yesterday. A neighbour living close by saw the flames take hold. The pensioner, who asked not to be named, said: “I saw the fire when I got up during the night. I want to pay tribute to the firemen — they were brilliant.”