A zebra crossing that was given a rainbow makeover in solidarity with a town’s LGBTQ+ community has been vandalised – one day after being unveiled.

The colourful crossing in Blackpool - one of six that cost a total of £35,000 - was defaced with black paint at around 9pm on Wednesday.

Just a day earlier, council chiefs in the resort had triumphed the unveiling of the crossing, which was installed to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community.

Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said the vandalism had been reported to the police.

She said: “We were disgusted and saddened to find that the new multi-coloured crossings have already been defaced.

“Inclusion and diversity is a key priority for the council. This sort of behaviour has no place in Blackpool and will not be tolerated.

"Rest assured we are accessing the CCTV in the area and we have reported it to the police."

It was one of a number of crossings in the town given multi-coloured makeovers as the resort develops a ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ area in the town centre.

The colours in the crossings are those of the Progress Pride flag, which celebrates inclusivity.

Contractors worked through the night on Tuesday to bring the graphics to life in a bid to brighten up the area in a show of solidarity.

Unveiling the artistic crossing, Cllr Williams previously said: "The new rainbow crossings bring an injection of colour and are a celebration of the long established LGBTQ+ history and diversity of the area.

"The LGBTQ+ community and businesses are very important to the economy of our town and I want the improvements made through the Action Plan to make this area to feel vibrant, unique and safe for everyone.

"There is still more work to be done but I’m proud that we’re committed to developing the identity of this area of the town centre, making it an area of inclusivity for everyone to be who they want to be.”

But the announcement was met with negativity on social media, with locals arguing the money would have been better spent fixing potholes.

One user wrote: "What a joke. I'd rather you just maintained the infrastructure we pay for."

Another fumed: "People have just watched their council tax go up 5% and then see this is what it’s being spent on."

A third said: "Were in a cost of living crisis but it’s okay the council are using the money very wisely. Paint a pretty rainbow. That will make everyone happy"

Cllr Williams said the ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ project is a 'community led project' supported by the council.

She went on: "The rainbow crossings are a small part of this project and were laid down after many discussions and engagement with the community.

"Those discussions told us that people want the area to look and feel better, brighter and want to start to build a sense of identity.

“This senseless and mindless act will not deter us and we will continue with delivering the action plan and support all those that want to be involved with it.

"I hope that is as many people in Blackpool as possible.

“The crossings will be cleaned and we will continue to move forward to support the residents with their plan.

"The total cost is £35,000 that cost is for six separate crossings.

"The money has come from a fund that is specifically there to improve public spaces and can’t be used for potholes or any other highways maintenance.

"The maintenance of our highways is of course still happening, we have over 300 miles of road across our borough that we look after well.

“The zebra crossings have not been updated in any way that deters away from the fact they are still clearly distinguishable as zebra crossings, with clear white stripes, relevant road markings on approach and flashing amber beacons on the pavement."

Lancashire Police has been contacted for comment.