A VEGAN restaurant in Bournemouth has closed for good less than a year after opening.

Cafe Thrive on Richmond Hill closed permanently over the weekend.

A sign on the door says: "Due to unforeseen circumstances we are now permanently closed. Thank you to all our customers and apologies for any inconvenience. The Cafe Thrive Bournemouth team."

The premises was previously occupied by New Orleans-inspired eatery The Bayou which also closed before its first anniversary.

Before that it was Mexican restaurant Coriander which had been there for more than 30 years.

Cafe Thrive, which also has a branch in Southampton, was one of a number of vegan restaurants in the town.

It offered a wide-ranging menu which included breakfast, sandwiches, salads, burgers, a kids' menu and desserts.

In a post on Facebook, the team said: "Hi Everyone, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control we have had to close our Bournemouth premises. Thank you to all of our customers and to our staff. Our Southampton Cafe will be remaining open.

"Please support the other great Vegan businesses in our area such as Mad cucumber - vegan lounge, Dirty Vegans and Twelve Eatery. Best wishes from the Cafe Thrive Bournemouth Team."

The news was greeted with dismay by customers and hundreds of people commented on Facebook.

Many described it as their favourite vegan restaurant with one saying: "So sorry guys - that really sucks. Absolutely adored your food, staff were great and thought you made a real difference to Bournemouth town centre."

Another customer said: "This is terrible news, I loved the place and tried to support it as much as I could. The staff were truly wonderful and I wish all of them the best in their future ventures"

And another added: "Cafe Thrive was my favourite vegan cafe ever and I was really looking forward to visiting more often when my uni course starts next week. What a great shame. Thrive will be sorely missed. All the best to those who worked there and made it amazing."