COMMUNITY leaders are calling for action after an abandoned football ground has fallen into a ‘dilapidated’ state and become a target for vandals.

The Ewood Bridge ground, near Edenfield, was home to Haslingden FC and Stand Athletic but has lain empty for more than a decade.

And locals have become concerned about vandalism to the ground and have called for something to be done to bring it back to use.

At the privately-owned site, the pitch has become overgrown, changing rooms have collapsed and a stand daubed with graffiti.

Graham Jones MP, who visited the ground recently, said: “I spoke to some locals who are concerned and it’s sad to see what was once a fantastic facility in such a dilapidated state.

“I am concerned about the ground attracting vandals, especially when it’s dark.

“I’d like to see something done with and maybe it could be brought back to use as a sporting facility/football ground.

“I’ve been told by the council that the land is designated for sports and recreation use so housing couldn’t be built on it. But it’s in a terrible state now and I’d like to see something done about it.”

Cllr Anne Cheetham, who represents the Eden ward on Rossendale council, said: “The pitch is like a jungle it’s that overgrown and the whole ground is destroyed. The changing rooms are like a shell, it’s sad to see.

“There is a gate and some fencing but nearby residents are concerned about people breaking in and vandalism.

“It would be great to see something done with it but there are problems with flooding in the area so that would have to be considered.”

A spokesman for Rossendale Council said: “We have been trying to contact the landowner to find out what his aspirations are for this site.

“Much of this site is a category 3 flood risk, which means it is liable to flooding, which restricts the development opportunities.”

The ground includes a small stand, covered standing area, goalposts, substitute benches, floodlights and clubhouse.

It has lain empty since 2003.