A POPULAR park cafe will have its final day of trading this weekend.

Richmondshire Leisure Trust is terminating its contract to run the cafe at Darlington's South Park due to a downturn in business.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet member for local services, said: "We are grateful to Richmondshire Leisure Trust and its staff for all their hard work at the café over the last three years and would like to thank them for their efforts.

"We will endeavour to secure a new operator to run the café and hope to be able to reopen it to visitors again as soon as possible.”

The cafe had welcomed a variety of groups, including Park Run, Junior Park Run, the Run Walk Run group, the dementia group , Fit Mamas, Boot Camp, Friends of South Park and South Park Bowling Club and had decided to become dog friendly in 2018.

Austin Gordon, general manager of Richmondshire Leisure Trust, which runs Richmond swimming pool, Colburn leisure centre and Liberty health club, said: "It's a real pity because we took a lease with the council back in 2017 and have been quite ambitious with opening 364 days a year and providing a venue for numerous groups.

"The staff we had are fantastic and they went out of their way to look after people and get to know customers' preferences."

Sunday will be the cafe's final day of trading.