Organisers of an alternative education and youth project in Hastings said they are ‘simply carrying on’ after a devastating break-in at its base in Queensbury House.
The building in Havelock Road, Hastings, was broken into overnight on Wednesday, October 10, according to police.
A number of items of musical and electrical equipment were stolen from the seven separate levels within the premises and damage was caused throughout, police said.
Among the businesses affected by the break-in was Respond Academy 3.0 which creates a safe space for young people to come together in pursuit of an aim in creative arts, music or the media.
Pablo McFee, the spokesman for Queensbury House, said: “The break-in has badly affected a number of businesses in the building. The damage done was extraordinary.
“The main people affected are ourselves on the third floor and four businesses on the seventh floor.
“We have lost about £100,000 worth of equipment and the other businesses have had their equipment stolen too.
“Everyone else is licking their wounds but we are simply carrying on and trying to help other businesses.
“We have been given support by a number of contractors and we wanted to pay them back.”
Warming Up The Homeless, a group supporting rough sleepers, is based at Queensbury House and confirmed its offices were also damaged during the break in.
Lesley Hunter, who runs the group, said lots of items have been stolen and the group was ‘distraught’.
Mr McFee said this was the first time Respond has had anything stolen in 22 years.
The incident was reported to the police who believe more than one person was responsible.
Police said the break-in was likely to have happened between 10.34pm on Wednesday (October 10) and 10.36am on Thursday (October 11).
In a statement, Sussex Police said: “Police would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around the time, especially any vehicles seen in the Priory Street areas of Hastings.
“Due to the volume of goods taken, it is believed there may have been more than one person responsible and a vehicle may have been used.
“Officers would also like to hear from anyone who has recently been offered any high value cameras of musical equipment for sale.”
Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 435 of 11/10.
Since the break-in, a Go Fund Me page set up to help the affected businesses has raised £1,200.
You can donate to it by visiting https://uk.gofundme.com/queensbury-house-recovery-fund