A group of people sat on chairs. Two people standing, one is a Town Mayor.

‘Take a Seat’ initiative launched to support accessibility

Knutsford Town Council is pleased to announce the launch of a new community-focused initiative, Take a Seat, designed to make Knutsford town centre a more pleasant and stress-free experience for all, but particularly older adults, those with disabilities, and those with chronic or short-term illnesses and injuries.

Starting today, this compassionate program encourages local businesses throughout the town’s narrow and charming streets to offer a seat to those who need to rest and recharge while they are out and about in the town centre.

The scheme recognises the challenges that our unique and quirky streets may pose to some and aims to create a more inclusive and accessible environment. The scheme is delivered by Knutsford Town Council in collaboration with local shop owners, hospitality and businesses. Participating businesses will display a Take a Seat sticker in their windows, indicating that inside, a welcoming space awaits those who need it without the obligation to make a purchase.

“We are proud to support our community with this initiative,” said Town Centre Manager Sandra Curties “Knutsford is a town with a big heart, and by introducing Take a Seat, we are taking a step towards ensuring that our streets and shops are accessible to all, reinforcing our commitment to inclusivity.”

The Take a Seat initiative not only supports those who might struggle with mobility but also fosters a stronger sense of community and belonging. It encourages residents and visitors alike to explore all that Knutsford has to offer at their own pace.”

Participating locations include:

  • Knutsford Heritage Centre, 90A King Street, WA16 6ED
  • Lost and Found, Princess Street, WA16 6BY
  • Knutsford Methodist Church, Princess Street WA16 6BY
  • Arthur Lee, Hollingford House, Toft Road, WA16 0PD
  • Cranford Café, 10-12 Canute Place, WA16 6BH
  • The Tea Room, Cotton Shop Yard, 73 King Street, WA16 6DX
  • Detaljer, 39-41 Princess Street, WA16 6BW
  • Clarity Contemporary Jewellery, 15 King Street WA16 6DW
  • Tatton Perk, Malt Street (King Street car park) WA16 6ES
  • Nxtep Gym, 103 King Street, WA16 6EQ

For more information about the “Take a Seat” initiative, please visit www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/take-a-seat

The winners of the awards (9 people) stood with the Town Mayor and Awards Sponsor, all holding their awards

Winners of 2024 Town Awards announced

The Knutsford community celebrated its town heroes on Tuesday (23rd April) at the annual Town Awards.

The Town Awards is an annual ceremony aiming to recognise those in the Knutsford community who work to make the town a better place for all, it is led by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business.

The award ceremony took place at Knutsford Little Theatre, with Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan and Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business, announcing the winners of the 2024 awards.

The first award went to Maya Chudley, who took home the Youth Award. Maya, who is also known as “Peppermint the Elf”, accompanies Santa around town each year with We Are Knutsford and also serves as an art ambassador in a junior school and supports organisations such as CAFT with their activities.

The Community Award shield was presented to Knutsford and District Good Neighbours. Whilst many of us may take for granted the ease in which we can travel to attend medical appointments for many people this can be a great challenge – whether that is accessing an appointment in Knutsford, Macclesfield or further afield. The Good Neighbours scheme are there to support those who cannot make this journey alone.

Retiring Knutsford Heritage Centre manager Val Bryant was “left speechless” after being presented with a special award for her Outstanding Contribution to the Heritage of Knutsford, to thank her on behalf of the whole town for her work with the centre over the last 17 years over which time she prevented its closure and ensured the preservation of the Millennium Tapestry.

Three recipients were presented with a Civic Award this award goes to individuals or groups of individuals who work to make Knutsford a better place.

The first award went to Andrew Mallow, recognising his leading role in the community having stood down in 2023 after 12 years as a town councillor, having founded the hugely popular Knutsford Beer Festival which has raised over £50,000 for local charities and his support, leadership or involvement in a variety of community organisations from Friends groups to the Community Rail Partnership and volunteering with East Cheshire Hospice’s annual Christmas tree collection.

The second Civic Award was awarded jointly to Ann and John Long. Ann and John have supported Just Drop In, the specialist youth mental health service in the town centre. They kindly provide the charity with free accommodation and have been promoting, supporting and fundraising for the charity to ensure its success in the town.

Maggie Clayton – a long serving volunteer at The Welcome who is there two days every week without fail was shortlisted for an award back in 2021 and took home the final Civic Award of 2024. One of her glowing nominations said “The Welcome would not be the same without Maggie, and we all absolutely love her.

The 2023 Business Award was presented to Roberta Dyer. Roberta has been trading in Knutsford since 2008 and epitomises the adage ‘if you want something done ask a busy person’. Roberta is often first to volunteer to support the business community events and initiatives and has been a staunch supporter and welcomer of new businesses to the town.

The final award was the Extra Mile Award which goes to someone who, in their paid employment, has gone above and beyond for the benefit of the local community with the 2024 award going to Nicola Marshall for outstanding leadership of Knutsford Together and helping people in Knutsford find the help they need in difficult times. 

Speaking at the awards, Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan said “This evening is a celebration not just of our winners, but of all those nominated and shortlisted. Each of those nominated should feel great pride that there are people in this town that see you, who see what you do and who value the work you do and the difference you make to Knutsford. To those who walk away with an award, I would like to convey the sincere gratitude of Knutsford Town Council to you for the work you do”.

Nominations for the 2025 Town Awards will open in January 2025 and residents are encouraged to make note of those in the community they feel deserve recognition next year.

Knutsford Music Festival Tickets Now on Sale!

Tickets have been released for Knutsford Music Festival 2024, which returns this June. Bringing a wealth of talent to our historic town and putting Knutsford on the music map!

This year’s festival is expanding with a focus upon the synchronicity between music and art and will feature a diverse line up of events for music and art lovers alike.

As always, the folk element of this 4-day event is specially curated by BBC Radio host Mark Ratcliffe, who brings another fantastic line up featuring acclaimed British Singer-Songwriter Thea Gilmore.

On June 13th Knutsford Little Theatre play host to winner of the 2023 Christian Rapheal Prize Frankie Archer. Frankie has featured on ‘Later…. With Jools Holland and been championed by tastemakers at BBC Radio 2 and 6Music.  Frankie has exploded onto the electrofolk scene with music that transcends stereotypes using a combination of samples, synths, and earthy Northumbrian fiddle to capture her audience.

This double headlined event also includes Virginia Kettles Rolling Folk. Virginia Kettle is at the heart of the creative force within Merry Hell. As a prolific writer of songs, Rolling Folk gives Virginia the chance to share a variety of songs not included in the Merry Hell repertoire. Offering the same level of song writing excellence as Merry Hell, but a different, more intimate feel, as well as some additional musical explorations. This night is not to be missed!

Friday 14th is the turn of St John’s Church who will showcase the remarkable talents of Thea Gilmore. Admired by cultural icons such as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg, Thea has made 20 albums since the release of her first album Burning Dorothy in 1998 and earned a reputation as one of the most distinctive singer songwriters of her generation.

UK Blues Award Finalist Alice Armstrong headlines on Saturday Night Blues, on 15th June, combining her incredible voice and stage presence with multi award-winning keyboard player Stevie Watts. Together as a duo they are an explosive cocktail and will perform some original material along with a variety of covers from all genres.

Transatlantic folk band, The Magpies close the festival on Sunday 16th June. The Magpies are quickly becoming one of the most exciting and innovative acts on the contemporary roots scene. Combining sublime harmonies with exquisite musicianship and impressive songwriting.

For tickets and full listings, including information of support acts and ‘Music on the Moor’, please visit the festival website at www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com or email info@knutsfordmusicfestival.com

Knutsford set for ‘Heritage Open Days’ 2024

Knutsford will once again be on the Heritage Open Days map as the Town Council is working to coordinate a programme of activity for the country’s largest festival of culture and heritage.

Heritage Open Days takes place every September with the aim of providing free events that bring history to life and provide access to interesting historical places. The 2024 festival runs from 6th to 15th September.

The council is setting up a working group of interested parties to develop activity for the festival and is keen to hear from anyone who would like to take part.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “Knutsford has so much heritage to celebrate, from incredible buildings to links with multiple notable people from history and Heritage Open Days is a great opportunity to showcase what we have.”

The council is also keen to hear from owners of historic properties who would be willing to open them up to the public as part of the festival to small tour groups, offering a rare chance to see part of the town’s history that isn’t routinely on show.

Anyone who is interested in delivering an event as part of Heritage Open Days or able to provide access to a historic site, can contact Sara Frith on sara.frith@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

A cinema screen showing Bill Cowburn as the credits roll

Documentary tells the story of Knutsford during World War II

Knutsford: Tales of War features interviews with four Knutsfordians who lived in the town through the Second World War as they recount their memories of what life in the town was like.

The film was launched with a special screening at Curzon on Wednesday 17th April where the interviewees and their families were invited to see the film on the big screen.

Enid Leigh, Edith Chadwick, Tony Leadbeater and Bill Cowburn starred in the film, sharing their experiences of seeing prisoners of war, the American troops on the Heath and paratroopers training over Tatton Park. It was presented by Val Dawson and produced by 7Video.

The project was delivered by Knutsford Town Council with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project aimed to record the memories of those who lived through the war and create an engaging video to ensure their stories would be seen by as many as possible. It is hoped it will be used by schools as part of teaching about the war and conflict generally.

As part of the project, a team of volunteers were trained in oral history recording and it is hoped that this will spur similar future projects. The film features archive colour footage of Knutsford from 1944 and of paratroopers training in Tatton Park.

Speaking at the launch event, Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan reflected that due to the passage of time many who lived during the 1939-1945 war were no longer with us, “This serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of projects like this, collecting the history stored in people’s memories, before it is too late”

Speaking after the film was launched, Cllr Coan added “I was blown away by this personal recounting of life in Knutsford during the war and the incredible colour footage of the town. It was a delight to share the premiere with the stars and their families and I sincerely hope all viewers find this film as interesting and thought provoking as I did.”

The film can be watched for free on the Town Council website at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/tales-of-war 

Patterned mugs with "Knutsford" written on them

Young people’s survey: Final Chance to have your say

Knutsford’s Young People are being given the chance to help shape future youth services in the town by taking part in a survey being organised by a local housing association.

In response to customer feedback on youth services in the area, Great Places Housing Group in collaboration with Knutsford Town Council and Cheshire East Youth Service, is running a survey to get the views of young people of Knutsford on what changes they’d like to see in the town.

The feedback collected will be instrumental in shaping and co-designing future youth services in the area.

Commenting on the survey, Becky Banks, Great Places’ Community Project Manager for the Longridge area in Knutsford, said “Great Places is an organisation rooted in social purpose and we’re committed to supporting the customers to build strong sustainable communities.

“Feedback from a recent consultation we carried out with residents and stakeholders in our Longridge neighbourhood highlighted the need for improved youth services in the area and set up the survey in collaboration with the town council and Cheshire East Youth Service.

“We’re delighted with the response so but we’d like hear from as many young people as possible to tell us about what they want. It’s quick and will only take a few minutes of your time to complete, but your input could make a lasting impact on the community.”

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green added “The Town Council is committed to improving the provision of services and facilities for the younger members of our community and this survey will help guide us to ensure their needs are being met – the more responses we get the better, so please do encourage any young people you have contact with to take five minutes to share their views”.

The survey is open to young people 5 and 19 years. To take part in the survey visit https://forms.office.com/e/wivSbMjumG by 26th April.

An aerial view of the Moor

Shortlist for 2024 Town Awards Announced

Drumroll please…. the shortlist for the 2024 Knutsford Town Awards has been announced.

The Knutsford Town Awards celebrate Knutsford’s incredible community spirit and the individuals and organisations which make the town so special. The awards are hosted by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business.

This year’s nominees are another shining example of the dedication, innovation, and kindness that can be found in the Knutsford community – all have been nominated by people who have seen what they do and been impressed.

Speaking on the announcement of the shortlist, Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “I am always amazed by incredible commitment we see in the nominations submitted for these awards, there are so many deserving people that shortlisting is never easy. Our huge congratulations to those who have been shortlisted and we look forward to presenting the awards in a few weeks time”

The shortlist is:

The Civic Award

  • Val Bryant – for leadership of Knutsford Heritage Centre
  • Maggie Clatyon – for dedicated volunteering at The Welcome
  • Emma Hamilton – for service to Junior Cricket at Toft Cricket Club
  • Vanessa Hatton – for service to 5th Knutsford Rainbows
  • Ann and John Long  – for their support to young people’s mental health services
  • Andrew Malloy – for broad involvement in various organisations
  • Milly Peel – for establishing Stable Minds CIC and supporting the mental health of the community

The Business Award

  • Roberta Dyer of Roberta’s Beauty Redefined – for support to the business community
  • Love the Dentist – for outreach services and support to local organisations
  • Peter Murray of Pulse of Perfumery – for being a continued ambassador for Knutsford Town Centre

The Extra Mile Award

  • Mia Lucas, Tatton Perk – for outstanding customer service
  • Nicola Marshall, Knutsford Together – for leadership of Knutsford Together
  • Lucy Page, The Welcome – for tireless service at The Welcome

The Community Award

  • Knutsford and District Good Neighbours – which provides transport to enable people to access medical appointments
  • Knutsford GROW – which those who are unable to look after their gardens and provides volunteer opportunities for those from all walks of life
  • Stable Minds – for support to the mental health of Knutsford residents

A winner for the Youth Award will also be announced on the evening.

All nominees are now being contacted to invite them to attend the awards ceremony which takes place on Tuesday 23rd April at 7pm in Knutsford Little Theatre.

The Town Mayor prepares to remove a ribbon from a board, surrounded by other people

Town Mayor opens new memorial garden

Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan unveiled a new blue plaque and heritage board as part of the opening of a new Memorial Garden.

Local retirees in Knutsford joined McCarthy Stone to celebrate the opening of the memorial garden in the grounds of the new Centennial Place development on Northwich Road which has been built on the historic site of the community-built war memorial hospital.

Knutsford Town Council supported McCarthy Stone to put in place plans to ensure as much of the heritage of Memorial House was retained.  The plinth from the Haron Baronian statue forms the focal point of the new memorial gardens with the marble dedication plaque from the Knutsford and District War Memorial Cottage Hospital proudly on display alongside the newly created interpretation board that tells the history of the site.  To further keep history alive, McCarthy Stone has used bricks saved from the hospital as part of the gate piers.

Cllr Peter Coan said: “The blue plaque and memorial gardens help to ensure that the important history of this site will never be lost. Visitors to Centennial Place will be reminded of what stood before and we were pleased to work with McCarthy Stone on the detailed panel which records a full history of the site from 1922 to 2022. I ”

The memorial gardens are at the front of the site on Northwich Road and open to all members of the public to visit.

The Town Mayor and three other people stand in front of a new blue plaque
A heritage board and marble plaque
The new memorial garden

Fiona Brooks, Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy Stone, added: “We think that it’s vitally important to honour the local communities that we build in, so it was no question that we paid tribute to the longstanding war memorial hospital that stood here.”

Flash Fashion 2024

Flash Fashion Knutsford is set to return this year on the 18th May, providing the perfect opportunity for shoppers to get inspired and refresh their wardrobes for summer.

The day-long event started in 2019 as a collaboration between Knutsford Town Council and local boutiques to highlight the wonderful collection of independent fashion retailers in Knutsford.

The day will kick off at 11am in Lost and Found with a fashion show featuring the latest looks from local boutiques, compered by Katy Rickitt of Dexter and Jones. Attendees then peruse the shops and enjoy a variety of complimentary services in store including on-hand stylists, beauty treatments, a glass of fizz and goody bags.

Participating stores include

  • Kanoa Living
  • Cocaranti
  • Redress at Dexter and Jones
  • Blossom Boutique
  • Paris Ladies Boutique
  • Bare Necessities
  • Willow Boutiques
  • Smook Styling
  • Chalk 33
  • Milania Boutique
  • Roberta Beauty Redefined
  • Zapatos
  • Milania Boutique
  • Second Hand Styling
  • Clare and Illingworth
  • L ’Atelier London
  • Smook Styling at Gusto
  • Lanigan and Hulme

Sean Spooner, General Manager, of The Lost and Found, said, “We are delighted to host the catwalk show again. We love being able to support our wonderful independent fashion boutiques. It is great fun and there is such a lovely buzz during the show. We also offer 20% of our brunch menu for all the fashionistas on the day too!”

Davina Armitage from Cocaranti said “We are so excited to be involved in Flash Fashion Knutsford again this year. The shop always has a lovely vibe with customers enjoying an extra special shopping experience from all the fashion indies in town. And we can’t wait to show everyone our Spring Summer collections” .

New for this year is a talk by Laura Davies of Smook Styling which will focus on 5 steps to Unforgettable Style which is kindly hosted by Gusto Restaurants.

Maps will be available from shops and eateries around Knutsford shortly to allow shoppers to plan their day. There will also be free parking for the day at Silk Mill Street, King Street and Princess Street car parks from 10am.