A CRIMINAL investigation has been launched over a fire at a bowls club in Springfield which is now being treated as arson.

On Wednesday night the clubhouse at Lionmede Bowls Club in Sandford Road was torched leaving it extensively damaged.

Following initial investigations by both police and the fire service, an appeal for witnesses has now been issued as it is believed the blaze was deliberately started.

Anyone with information should contact officers at Chelmsford police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.