Archive for July 3rd, 2020

An update regarding Knutsford Christmas Market 2020

We will be opening applications to this year’s Knutsford Christmas Market on Friday 17th July. Whether you are a trader who has traded at our market previously or a new trader who intends to apply for the first time, please read the following information detailing changes that may need to be put into place following the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic to ensure that our event is safe for visitors, traders and town centre businesses. Whilst some of this may sound negative, we wanted to be upfront about the way we may have to hold this year’s event and we hope it does not put you off applying.
 
We are currently exploring options to run our market differently this year to reduce crowding and ensure the market is safe for users. This will mostly likely mean holding the market on Silk Mill Street and Princess Street car parks rather than on Princess Street as holding the market in its usual format would not enable social distancing at the market or for local businesses. Changes to the layout will be to  enable us to space out stalls and create designated walkways with a one-way system in place. These changes may also involve reducing the overall number of traders at the event to ensure that we can allow adequate space between stalls and large enough walkways to allow social distancing between visitors if required.
 
If we are required to reduce our usual number of traders, this will be communicated to all applicants as soon as possible – we are continually monitoring the latest government advice and our aim is to run an event that is both safe and successful. We may choose to offer fewer weekend slots than usual to allow us to showcase a greater number of traders while still reducing overall numbers; we would ask that all traders please bear with us if we are unable to offer everyone weekend slots and work with us to offer trading opportunities to as many local traders as possible.
 
We may be required to omit certain types of stall from the market to reduce crowding or to ensure that there is no blockage to walkways, and that we can fit in as many stalls as possible whilst still maintaining any necessary distancing. This might include stalls that sell large or bulky items or usually trade across a larger area; we may have to reduce the number of stalls of this kind for this year and we apologise in advance if this will affect some traders – we encourage you to still apply as we will work to find solutions to enable us to accommodate as broad a range of traders as possible.
 
The Christmas Market will most likely be more of a traditional market this year with entertainment stripped back or removed  to prevent crowding in order to allow users to safely visit their favourite traders and shop in a safe and secure way.
 
We will proceed with our Park and Ride shuttle bus service which has been popular at our event for the last two years. The Park and Ride offers visitors a chance to park and board a shuttle bus for free into the town centre. This service helps to drastically reduce the number of cars trying to park in the town centre and we would encourage as many users as possible to utilise this free of charge service as car parking spaces in the town centre will be greatly limited.
 
Knutsford Town Council considers the health and wellbeing of our residents an utmost priority and will continue to monitor government advice as the year progresses to determine the safest way to hold the market this year. Whilst we appreciate that this is a hugely popular event not only to the local community but for people from further afield, we will continue to prioritise the safety of our residents and, reluctantly reserve the right to cancel the event at any time if we believe that this is the best way for us to keep our community safe. We will continue to communicate our plans with all traders and the public and will seek to proceed with the market in the safest way possible for all. We are grateful for your patience and co-operation at this time.
 
If you have any questions regarding this statement or this year’s festivities, please contact us at christmas@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call us on 01565 653 929.

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