MORE than £1,500 has been raised to fund repairs to Whitehaven's newly restored lighthouse after it was vandalised less than 24 hours from being unveiled to the public.

The community was left reeling after yobs smashed the glass windows of the West Pier lighthouse on the harbour following a ribbon cutting ceremony held last Monday.

Six of the new windows were damaged by firing large metal pellets at them, completely breaking one window and damaging the frame of another. Now a fundraising campaign has been launched to help cover the cost of the repairs and install extra security measures to deter any further vandalism.

The repairs are expected to cost between £3,000 and £5,000, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners have said. Brendon McCrickett, an amateur photographer who has been following the restoration of the lighthouse since the works were announced, has created the GoFundMe page.

He said: "It's such a shame what has happened to the lighthouse on its first day after everybody's hard work and without some form of security, it may possibly happen again.

"The consensus on the harbour was that some form of deterrent was needed but the cost would probably run into thousands, when you look at the safety aspects of the repairs now that the scaffolding has been removed.

"I thought starting a GoFundMe page would help to raise a little towards the cost but never expected such a fantastic response. The generosity has been staggering, and it just shows how important the lighthouses are to the people of Whitehaven."

John Baker, CEO of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said: "We were taken aback and really touched by the public response last week to what happened. We were gutted about what happened, so for people to take it into their own hands and donate money to help us do some repairs and security work, is really touching.

"It really confirms that we were right to do the project and the people of Whitehaven are behind it. It shows they have pride in what goes on in the town and what the harbour and those lighthouses represent. It puts your faith back in people. It shows people really do care."

Cumbria Police say they are continuing to appeal for information on the incident, which happened between 8pm on April 11 and 8:30am on the April 12.

A spokesperson for Whitehaven’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We share the community’s frustration and disappointment in the actions of those involved. This was a senseless act of criminal damage by one or a few people.

“We are investigating this incident and would appeal to the public for help in identifying those responsible.”

Anyone with information relating to this incident can report online via , quoting incident number 106 of the April 12. You can also phone on 101. Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, on 0800 555 111.