CCTV cameras are set to be installed at Stubbylee Community Greenhouses in Bacup after a gang of thieves raided more than £6,000 worth of tools.
The break-in at the charity-run project, which happened last weekend, has prompted several people to come forward with donations, including a local business which has offered to buy security cameras and an alarm system.
As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph this week, more than £3,000 of tools bought with a Big Lottery grant were stolen in the raid last Friday night, along with £3,000 of tools brought in by visitors, many of whom have collected them over a lifetime.
Souta Van Wick, manager of the scheme and co-ordinator of Heads Up Rossendale, said the theft had been another ‘kick in the teeth’ for the project, which is already struggling to secure funding after November.
She added: “We just hope the publicity from this will inspire businesses to help us. We were already under threat and the burglary has just added to that, because some of the time I would have spent doing funding applications I’m now spending on an insurance claim.
“A lot of the things that were taken were personal tools which weren’t insured, so we won’t be able to replace those, but we’re putting together a claim of about £5,000.
“People are still cross about what happened but we’re quite philosophical about it. The people that did this have probably got something seriously wrong in their lives.
“We have been pleased with the donations so far.”
Despite the offer of increased security, which Souta is hoping to confirm next week, she does not want the site to be ‘over-securitised’.
She added: “I don’t want to put up a big fence or anything, because it would put people off coming here.
“I don’t think putting razorwire up would help the people who come here, as some have depression, agoraphobia or other mental health issues.”
Police have appealed for witnesses. Call 101 if you can help with the investigation.
To donate tools you can call Souta on 01706 872111, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.