A FUNDRAISING appeal launched after a Southampton funfair was wrecked in an arson attack has hit its target.

In a massive show of community spirit, wellwishers have rallied round and raised the £2,000 needed to replace the party room at the Children’s Pleasure Park.

A total of 139 people donated the cash in little more than 24 hours after backing the online appeal.

Last night Fred Salter, 53, whose family have run the facility for more than four decades, said: “I can’t thank the people of Southampton enough.

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“Their response has been absolutely amazing. We were devastated after the fire but the reaction of the local community has been fabulous.

“You can feel the love people have for the park.

“I think a lot of that is down to my mum and dad. They were very special people who put their heart and soul into this place and it really shines through.”

Mr Salter said he hoped the new party room would be up and running in time for the Easter break.

He added: “We’re still playing around with ideas but we’re thinking of using containers which will be clad in timber to make them look like a log cabin.”

His daughter, Caitlin Hayward, said: “The success of the fundraising campaign has been amazing - it’s lovely to know the park is so highly thought of.”

Fire crews rushed to the facility near Southampton Sports Centre just before 6am on Monday.

As reported in the Daily Echo, a marquee used for children’s birthday parties was destroyed in the incident, while sheds and a play train were vandalised.

The park, which usually operates at weekends, was due to open every day this week to help youngsters make the most of the half-term holiday.

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Several people have taken to social media to voice their dismay following the fire, which reduced part of the facility to a charred wreck.

One woman wrote: “I have happy memories of taking my children to the park when they were small over 30 years ago and now they are taking my grandson.

“I was absolutely gutted when i heard the news as I was hoping to take my grandson there myself.”

Another social media user posted: “It’s such a lovely place and has been for generations. Genuinely upset and angry that someone could do this.”

Police have confirmed that the blaze was started deliberately. Anyone with information can call officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190058890.