POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack on a former school building.

A classroom at the former Greencroft Comprehensive School, near Stanley, was set on fire at around 6.30pm on Tuesday.

Fire crews said the blaze had called “substantial damage” to the building. A criminal investigation has now been launched, although no arrests have been made as yet.

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Police said there had been a number of recent incidents in which intruders had broken into the building, which has been disused for more than a year, and caused damage.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: “The fire is being treated as suspected arson and we are investigating.

“Anyone with information is asked to ring Durham Police on 101.”

The school has been empty for the last 12 months after pupils moved into the purpose-built North Durham Academy in Stanley.

Earlier this year Hare Law School, which caters for children with special educational needs, revealed plans to move into the Greencroft site from its current premises at Catchgate.