The Mayor presenting a cheque to Hope Central

Debt Centre to be expanded with council grant

Knutsford residents will have increased access to debt support thanks to funding provided by Knutsford Town Council to Hope Central.

Hope Central provides a free Debt Centre service to people across the WA16 and SK9 area which aims to help get people out of debt and the council’s funding supports recruitment of a debt coach to help more people access this service.

In addition to operating a food bank, Hope Central has a strong success rate for supporting people into work and volunteering placements via its Job Club, and their Fresh Start course supports people out of life-controlling habits. All of its services are aimed at supporting people out of poverty and giving them hope.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “Supporting those in the greatest need in our community is incredibly important to Knutsford Town Council. The work that Hope Central does can change lives, and we’re proud to be funding them to help support more people in our Town”

The Hope Centre in Knutsford is based at St Cross Church and has about 20 people attending each Monday morning to receive a free lunch and meet people in the community. The charity also runs a life skills course, teaching people how to live well on a budget by considering money saving techniques and cooking skills.

Director of Hope Central, Kay Barker said she was thrilled to receive the grant and spoke of the difference it will make to Knutsford residents “We have seen first hand the darkness debt can cause in peoples’ lives and we have had the joy of working with people, and seeing the difference in people as they become debt free. This money will enable our Debt Centre to expand and help more people in Knutsford who are struggling with debt and will give them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Barney Howard, Debt Centre Manager at Hope Central added “People around the country are struggling with rising costs and being on a low income many people can’t respond to this. Knutsford is no different. It eventually leads to people being in poverty. We are so grateful for this funding so that we can bring hope to people and that there is a solution if they are in debt. If anyone is in debt then they can call the freephone number 0800 328 0006 to book an appointment with our Debt Coaches.”

If you or anyone you know is in need of an emergency food parcel, you can be referred to Hope Central’s Food Bank by a social care professional (e.g. your GP, housing officer, support worker, social prescriber, social worker and school etc).

This grant was awarded under the council’s Large Grant Scheme which provides grants over £1,500. Applications are considered annually with the next deadline at the end of August for grants paid in April 2025.

Photo L-R: Ian Albiston, Ian Robertson, Cllr Peter Coan, Kay Baker, Doreen Robertson, Barney Howard, Rev Paul Deakin and Karen Andrew. 

The Mayor holding a giant cheque with trustees of the heritage centre

Council continues support of Knutsford Heritage Centre

Knutsford Heritage Centre has received £7,500 from Knutsford Town Council as part of a four-year support agreement.

The Town Council has provided annual funding to Knutsford Heritage Centre since 2019. The funding covers the core operational costs of the centre, including utilities and insurance so the charity can focus on its efforts on exhibiting and archiving town artefacts.

The Heritage Centre was established in 1989 and is housed in a former tinsmith and ironmonger building which is accessed from King Street or Heritage Way. The premises is provided free of charge by the Tatton Estate.

Visitors to Knutsford Heritage Centre can view the incredible Knutsford Tapestry, displays of May Queen crowns and regular exhibitions on the history of Knutsford. The centre also includes a beautiful garden which features a life size carved oak statue of King Canute.

“Knutsford proudly boasts a rich heritage so its only right we have a place where visitors and residents can explore it – we’re pleased to continue our support of Knutsford Heritage Centre and look forward to working with them through our appointed trustee, as the centre secures a new manager this year” said Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan

Val Byrant, retiring manager of Knutsford Heritage Centre who was recently presented with an award for her contribution to the heritage of Knutsford, said “Our thanks go to the Town Council for their continuing support of the Heritage Centre.”

“The Heritage Centre is the jewel in the crown as a tourist attraction to the History of Knutsford. It has the beautiful Millennium Tapestry, which is a must to see. Do come and visit us.” Knutsford Heritage Centre is open Thursday to Saturday at 11am – 4pm.

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.

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.”

The Town Mayor (standing) adjusts his chain of office with an elated look on his face, whilst talking to another gentleman (standing) as a lady looks up from her chair.

Mayor’s Ball Raises over £5,000

On Friday 22nd March, the Mayor of Knutsford welcomed over 90 guests to his Charity Ball at Cottons Hotel and Spa.  The evening was a huge success which raised over £5,000 for the Mayor’s chosen charities, the UK Men’s sheds association and Knutsford GROW.

Guests were welcomed with a glass of prosecco, kindly sponsored by Slater and Gordon Lawyers with close up magic performed by Chris Hickey.

Creative Captures provided the photography for the evening whilst DJ Pete Deane made sure everyone had a great time on the dancefloor. Guests were also entertained by local family band, The Avenue. The entertainment was sponsored by Mesoestetic UK.

Prize vouchers were found hidden in balloons, sponsored by Love the Dentist, Mobberley. Each balloon contained a voucher for a fabulous prize donated by local businesses including meals from Evuna, The Lost and Found, The Botanist, Linden Stores, Café on The Corner, Tatton Perk, The Chester Grosvenor and Sigiriya, to name just a few.

The Raffle proved popular, with prizes which included donations from Cottons, Elite Health, Gusto Knutsford, Angel on King Street, The Bath House, Knutsford Olde Sweet Shoppe, Arley Hall, Tatton Park, Andrew Collier Photography, Pulse of Perfumery, Redrow, Clarity, Majestic Wines, Lanigan and Hulme, PR Jones and many more

A game of Heads or Tails in between courses made for a fun 5 minutes of fundraising. The game was won by Cllr Rod Fletcher, the Mayor of Cheshire East who went back to his table with a bottle of wine.

The silent auction raised over £1,000 and with a bidding war between guests to win prizes donated by King and Allen, Manchester United Football Club, Bartley Portrait Studios, Everton Football Club and local jewellers Geralds of Knutsford.

Each table was sponsored by a local business which contributed further funds to the evening: Cumming Group, Redrow, Manchester Airport, Lanigan and Hulme, Love the Dentist Mobberley, Dexter and Jones, and Knutsford Beauty.

Gemma Jackson, Civic Events officer said: “The ball has been a great fundraising success raising an impressive £5,000, guests truly ‘had a ball’ and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of all the local shops, restaurants and businesses who have so generously supported and donated products and vouchers for the event.  Thank you to all who attended on the night for helping to make the evening so enjoyable!”

Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan added “I would like to thank everyone who supported this incredible evening of fundraising. Raising so much for these two great causes was truly one of the highlights of my year serving as your Town Mayor”.

A woman, smiling, holds a tenner trail poster.

Tenner Trail returns for Easter holidays

Knutsford’s Tenner Trail returns to the town centre this spring with fifteen shops offering some incredible deals over the Easter holidays.

Between 1st April and 14th April, participating shops are offering a special deal for just £10 – the offers range from dinner time solutions with The Market Hall Butcher, meal deals from local cafes and restaurants and lots of gift ideas and treats.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager, said “Our Tenner Trail showcases a wide variety of products and services from Knutsford high street. There are some great deals and a wonderful incentive for customers to explore new establishments and support local businesses.”

The participating businesses are: Kanoa Living, Amador, Knutsford Olde Sweet Shoppe, Roberta Beauty Redefined, Clarity Contemporary Jewellery, Lost & Found, Morgan Edwards, Cranford Café, The Market Hall Butcher, The Market Café, Slipped Discs, Nyx Cat Crystals, It’s the little things, Knutsford Mobile and Heathfields Fruit & Veg

For more details on the deals, shoppers should look out for posters in participating shops and follow Knutsford Town Council’s social media accounts to find out more.

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