A community hub and café is to close down following financial struggles, despite a public campaign to save it.

The Delipod Hub, at Willesden Green Library, has been forced to cease operations after building up debts relating to rent and service charge payments.

Its managers, Peter Howson and Serena Hadi, signed a lease surrender document with Brent Council to avoid any legal proceedings.

Cllr Shama Tatler, responsible for regeneration, property and planning at Brent Council, said it was “sad things have come to this” but that it was “the best way forward for everyone involved”.

She said the council was in “a difficult position” and, despite attempts to keep the café at the library, it had “not been possible”.

And she explained that the council offered to manage the debts to allow Peter and Serena the chance to take on another shop with “a clean slate”.

The hub, which was popular with artists and musicians, has received an outpouring of support.

An online petition against its closure, which has gathered hundreds of signatures, described the decision as “short-sighted” and something that will have a detrimental impact on the wider area.

It read: “If Brent Council is serious about investing in our local community, creating a thriving cultural centre hub within the main library and helping our town centre to flourish, then the community believes the Delipod Hub should be viewed as an asset of community value.

“Brent must allow its community value to take precedent over commercial considerations.”

In a statement, Peter and Serena expressed their thanks for the community’s support and urged people to keep campaigning.

They explained that they have tried to engage with the council on the issue for over a year and have written to local councillors in a last-ditch attempt to save the business.

Perhaps this is too strong, but from the messages of support we’ve received, it’s almost like the hub’s closure would be an act of physical, social and cultural vandalism,” they said.

Visit https://www.change.org/p/brent-council-save-the-wg-delipod to view the petition.