A COUNCIL has intervened to protect a theatre from future arson attacks.

Solid steel shutters and fencing have been installed around the outside of the 123-year-old Burnley Empire Theatre after it was subjected to an arson attack in the early hours of Monday.

Despite not owning the building, Burnley Council has intervened and put up the new protective gear to deter vandals from breaking into the empty 1,200 venue, on Cow Lane, again.

The fire, which started at around 3am on Monday, caused damage to the ground floor of the theatre, including the seating area.

Bosses at Burnley Council said they were 'appalled' to hear about the arson attack. A spokesman said: "The council does not own the building but we have taken all reasonable steps to secure the site, including installing solid steel shutters and fencing.

"This incident involved a concerted and determined attempt to break into the property through the security measures and deliberately start a fire, thus putting the lives of firefighters who had to deal with it in danger.

"We would encourage anyone with any information on who is responsible for this break-in and arson attack to call the police."