COATE Water Park cafe was broken into and vandalised with hundreds of pounds worth of goods stolen - staff at the cafe have announced.

The cafe said on its Facebook page that it would be closed today. The status was shared nearly 600 times within three hours of being posted.

It said: “Dear customers, unfortunately we will not be open today as we have had a serious break in last night at the Café, we are truly gutted. They’ve smashed in through the roof, broken the cooking facilities, stolen stock, stolen our float, and generally trashed and violated our little cafe. We are a small, hardworking family business, this is our livelihood that we work so, so hard at day in, day out as many of you know.

“If anyone knows anything, please can they get in contact with the police. We can give you the crime reference number.

“We will update as soon as we know when we are able to open which hopefully will be tomorrow even if it’s with reduced facilities.”

The posting added: “Why do people do this to small businesses? To everyday people like us? We will never understand.”

Craig Poole is the owner of the cafe which has been open at the country park for more than 40 years.

More than 100 Facebook users commented on the post to give their condolences and show their support.

Maria Blake said: “Shocked and disgusted! I hope they get caught quick and that you are able to recover from this.”

Andy Powell said: “That’s terrible to hear. Some low life people have no respect for others hard work and livelihoods.”

Tanya Peach said: “Sad to hear this. Was only there last week and all staff were truly wonderful. A great facility to have in such a beautiful place. Why why why would anyone want to spoil it?”

Jane Bateman along with other users has suggested setting up a funding page to help the owner.

She said:“Create a Just Giving page. Let the community help support you and restore faith by helping. So sorry that you have had this happen.”

A Swindon Borough Council ranger at the park said: “This is extremely disappointing for the members of the site, especially for all involved with the cafe.We have recently seen spats of vandalism start to increase recently and now this has happened.

A spokesman for Wiltshire police confirmed the force had received a report of the crime and said: “We were called yesterday morning to reports of a break-in at the cafe.

“We are currently carrying out enquiries in to the break-in.”

The rest of Coate Water Park, remains open, including the Splash Park which is open daily 11am-5pm until mid-September.