THE outside of Renfrew High School was up in flames after arsonists set the grounds on fire.

A large group of youths were seen outside the school on Sunday, October 30 at 3.10pm.

After setting fire to a plastic chair, the flames quickly spread to the astroturf which caused significant damage.

Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “The synthetic grass surface at the affected pitch is fire retardant, so it was the rubber crumb infill that was burnt on part of the park. This can be brushed out and replaced with new rubber crumb.

“We are waiting for a specialist contractor to inspect the pitch to assess the extent of the damage and give us the cost and timescale of repairing the part of the park that was damaged.

“No football matches are due to take place on this damaged pitch and we are confident training sessions can go ahead as usual on the area of the park that is not affected.”

A member of the public reported the fire to the Scottish Fire Services who put out the flames.

The fire was extinguished by beating it down rather than using a hose, however there was still significant damage as a result.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "We were alerted at 3.12pm on Sunday, 30 October to reports of a small fire out in the open at Haining Road in Renfrew.

"It had taken hold of astroturf near a car park at Renfrew High.

"Operations Control mobilised a single appliance which arrived at the scene within two minutes.

"The crew quickly extinguished the fire without needing to use a hose reel jet.

"Firefighters ensured the area was made safe before leaving the scene."

Police are appealing for further information to find out who is responsible. Please call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have any details.