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Salford community arts centre and pub charity collections stolen in burglary

By Charlie Bennett

A Salford community arts centre and pub had charity boxes and spirits stolen during a burglary in the early hours of this morning.

At around 3.20am three hooded youths smashed through The Black Lion’s triple-bolted front door and stole their Help for Heroes charity collections, which contained approximately £100.

In addition they took more than £1000 worth of spirits and a small safe under the bar containing money from the sales of local artists’ work.

Mark Ashmore, owner of the Black Lion and co-founder of Future Artists film studio, told MM about the hurt caused by this break-in.

He said: “It’s not just robbing from us, it’s robbing from the community.

“It’s the charity pots that get to me.

“When you see how they just ripped them from the bar on CCTV, smirking as they carry bottles of Jack Daniels, it makes you think, ‘what’s the world coming to?’

“It’s devastating, really.”

This was re-iterated on the fund-raising page on which a Black Lion spokesperson wrote: “What hurts the most is the charity pots and the recklessness of these youths, one year after the riots.”

The team’s insurance excess is more than £1000 and they have already been hit hard this month by business rates and Enterprise Inns’ beer price increases.

The Black Lion’s staff is urging Mancunians to donate, support the business and boost morale this weekend.

Donations can be made on their EventBrite page, where they have raised £80 so far, including donations from as far afield as America.

Mr Ashmore said: “We live week to week and support artists and audiences in our community, and do so by sacrificing a lot.

“To lose £1000 like that could cost jobs.”

He added: “But we’ll keep calm and carry on, we’ll prevail.”

The police have arrested three suspects who are currently detained in custody.

To donate to The Black Lion fund visit http://rebuildthelion.eventbrite.com/

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