Thieves have broken into the Fiery Bird music venue on Goldsworth Road, stealing a water tank, copper piping, cables and sound equipment.

The building was damaged by water that leaked after the tank and pipes were torn out of their fixtures.

Several events have had to be cancelled, including Surrey Choices SEN adults work teams, Thursday Open Mic and Write Out Loud Woking.

The break-in came as a particularly hard blow to the Phoenix Cultural Centre, which runs the Fiery Bird after two bits of good news, the awarding of a grant from Arts Council England for its Americana Festival and creative work, and a grant from Woking Borough Council for repairs and maintenance to a lift to improve accessibility.

Writing on the Phoenix Facebook page, the CEO and founder Elaine McGinty said: “We are all devastated at another setback but we know this project is worthwhile, and we know with everyone's support we can make it fly as we intend and Woking deserves.”

Elaine told the News & Mail: “It is a bitter blow but one thing we do have practice in, is surviving. We won't allow the good work and good will of Woking volunteers to be wiped out by this.”

The break-in and theft have been reported to Surrey Police.

A spokesman said: “We were called on Wednesday (27 March) at around 1.30pm with reports of a burglary at the Fiery Bird venue on Goldsworth Road in Woking, during which copper piping was stolen. Our investigation remains ongoing.”