The tenants of the Cricketers Café in King George V Park in Melksham have challenged a town council release about them ‘quitting’ as ‘unfair.’

The proprietors Craig and Solance Poole said they had simply given up their lease on the café after their short term contract with the council came to an end.

The café will close on Monday, September 6, and the couple, who also manage the café in Swindon’s Coate Water country park, are looking to sell on the equipment they have installed.

In a statement, Melksham Town Council, which runs the park, said: “The tenants at the Cricketers Café in The Pavilion in King George V Park have given notice to Melksham Town Council that the café will, unfortunately, close permanently from September 6. Despite their best efforts, the café has not proved to be viable. 

“The town council wishes Craig and Solance every success for the future. In the meantime, please continue to support them! The town council will review opportunities for the café over the winter.”

Mr and Mrs Poole said: “As the current tenants of the Cricketers Café we would like to set the record straight and say that we were originally asked, with only one month’s notice, to set a small café up and get it running for this season because the council had been let down by another business and they wanted a facility there in the park for the summer.

“We had never confirmed a long-term lease, the original contract was only ever until September, which we have fulfilled. 

“There was an option for us to carry on next year, however we did not feel with our other commitments it was financially viable for us.

“We have spoken to the council about this in depth and offered to help anybody who wishes to take it over.

“It’s very disappointing after all our hard work that a statement like this has been put out by the council which is very unfair on us. We aren’t quitting, we are simply at the end of the contract we agreed in April! 

“We have worked seven days a week in the café for the whole summer, and hope we have provided (in limited time frames and with limited facilities available to us) what was asked of us. 

“We very much hope somebody would like to take it over who could have it as their singular business, and we would welcome talking to them about taking over the equipment we have installed there.”

Some parents whose children use the splashpad and other play area facilities at the park say the café hours were inconsistent.

They also criticised the café tenants for not accepting cash from youngsters who wanted to buy refreshments.