A CGI render of the revised frontage to the market hall

Funds awarded for Market Hall Renovation

Plans to renovate Knutsford Market Hall have taken a significant step forward with the announcement of major grant funding to help deliver the project.

Knutsford Town Council has secured a grant of £560,000, 80% of the estimated £700,000 costs of undertaking a complete refurbishment of the market hall.

The grant comes from the Community Ownership Fund, a £150m fund from the UK Government as part of its Levelling Up agenda. The fund aims to help communities save cherished local assets and the Market Hall is one of a number of projects awarded funding across the country.

The project is at an early stage, with more detailed plans to be developed and announced in the coming weeks ahead of a planning application being submitted by the end of the year. Once a timeline for the works has been agreed, the council will be able to determine how to accommodate traders whilst works take place. 

The renovations will include a complete refurbishment of the interior of the market hall, a redesigned frontage to create a more open and welcoming space and replacement of the stall structures creating more storage for traders within each stall.  The works will also deliver significant improvement to the energy efficiency of the building including installing insulation, closing doors and solar panels.

Speaking of the award, Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said “It was incredible to receive the news of our success in securing this game-changing level of funding for the Market Hall. Thanks to the Community Ownership Fund, we will be able to deliver a significant improvement to the Market Hall in 2024, securing its future for decades to come”.

Knutsford Market Hall was built in 1964, and with the exception of minor works in the 1980s, remains largely the same building as it was almost 60 years ago.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “Knutsford Market Hall is a fantastic space for small businesses and a vital part of our high street, we are delighted to be able to celebrate its 60th Birthday in 2024 by giving it a new lease of life”

The Community Ownership Fund provides grants of up to 80% of the project costs. The council is currently exploring how to provide the balance with options including use of its capital reserve and borrowing. The council is also seeking a further grant through the Shared Prosperity Fund.

This round of the Community Ownership Fund was the first to be open to Town and Parish Councils, thanks to the lobbying work of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), and Knutsford is one of nine local councils that has secured funding in this round.

Knutsford Pumpkin Path

Knutsford’s family friendly Halloween event, the Pumpkin Path, returns this Halloween – Tuesday 31st October, from 4pm to 7pm.

The Pumpkin Path takes place on King Street, Minshull Street and Regent Street which will be closed to traffic. This year’s event is very kindly sponsored by Slater & Gordon, Neptune, Knutsford Admin and Travelbag whose generous support helps make the event possible.

Families can collect an entry form in advance of the event or on the night and follow the hints on the included map to find 11 pumpkins hidden around the closure area. All the pumpkins have a letter carved into them; find all the pumpkins and use the letters to spell the hidden phrase.

You’ll find lots of fun on your way, from themed character actors to live entertainment! Fuschia School of Dance will entertain you on King Street near Giovannis at 5pm and 6pm, while Knutsford Beats will sing some songs at the bottom of Regent Street at 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

Don’t forget to visit Wallwood (the wooded area at the top of King Street, opposite Tatton Park) for some spooky fun!

Remember to vote for your favourite Halloween window display on your entry form and drop off your completed entry form to one of the post boxes in Wallwood or at 60 King Street .

The event is free to enter however an optional donation of £1 per child will be graciously accepted to help cover some of the event costs. Entry forms can be collected on the night from one of four desks on King Street and one on Minshull Street. To find out more about the event, visit www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or email enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk, or alternatively you can call 01565 653 929

Two ladies standing with cakes

Knutsford at Home

Knutsford was a mini ‘Ideal Home Exhibition’ on September 16th, with its home and interior design shops hosting its second Knutsford at Home Event.

The event was a collaboration between home and interior shops and businesses in the town centre and coordinated by Knutsford Town Council. It offered shoppers a ‘menu of inspiration’ including talks from artists such as Diane Marsland in Holly Johnson Antiques, a Fired Earth pop-up in Detaljer plus Farrow and Ball talks from the Arthur Lee team.  The full list of shops taking part was Aperture Doors, Arthur Lee Interiors, Detaljer, The Flock of Arts, Havwoods, Holly Johnson Antiques, Kendal Quality Carpets, Oka, Sofas and Stuff, Susie Watson Designs and Terzetto Stone.

Holly Johnson co-owner of Holly Johnson Antiques said, “This was our second Knutsford at Home event and our most successful! Having Diane Marsland as our artist in residence for the day proved a real draw with guests finding her talks informative and inspiring. We also enjoyed watching customers both new and existing enjoy our showroom and its range of antiques.”

Lyndsey Dyson, of Havwoods, said: ‘’At Havwoods we really valued the Knutsford at Home event, and meeting with both new and existing customers discussing our latest flooring and cladding collections. Many visited our showroom and the Routemaster bus on the day, and we felt there was a great atmosphere present.’’

Lillie Carter of King Street newcomer Aperture Luxury Doors said, “This was an exceptional event by Knutsford Town Council. It’s great to be part of a community where we support each other as businesses to keep Knutsford at the forefront of retail.”

Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Council’s Town Centre Manager, said, “These events are all about promoting Knutsford as a destination shopping venue and offering a bespoke shopping experience that cannot be replicated online.  We loved the way our shops worked together and seeing visitors mapping out their day using the flyers was fabulous.  We look forward to a better and bigger event next year.”

man standing with products at a market hall stall

Alpy and Becs opens in Knutsford Market Hall

Looking for a unique fragrance? Some handmade skincare or bath bombs? If so, make a visit to Alphy and Becs the latest addition to Knutsford Market Hall.

Alfonso Esposito has opened in the centre of Knutsford taking a stall in the Market Hall. Alphy and Becs was established in 2011 and specialises in handmade cosmetics, fragrances, hair care, aromatherapy, and gifts.

Alfonso said, “I am delighted to open Alphy and Becs in Knutsford Market Hall.  The traders have made me feel most welcome. I look forward to introducing our range of handmade skincare and cosmetic ranges to Knutsford residents and visitors to the town. Please come in and pay us a visit!”

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said, “Alphy and Becs range is bespoke and made with love and care. If you are looking for a unique gift or to treat yourself do pay Alfonso a visit. If you wish to get an early start on the Christmas shopping – the stall is a must! This latest addition to our market hall means we have a full house in the market hall offering everything from vegetables and vinyl to chicken and cards. If you haven’t recently visited the market hall, please do pop in, shop local and support our small businesses”.

The Market Hall is open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am to 4pm. Inside you’ll find authentic Thai food, a deli offering olives and Turkish delight, a traditional barber, vinyl records, fresh fruit and veg, a butcher, greeting cards, dog treats and accessories, mobile phone repairs and accessories,  a crystal stall, and a café.

A man stood with mobile phones at market hall stall

Knutsford Mobile opens in Knutsford Market Hall

Smashed mobile screen? Lost your charging cable? Or just need a new mobile phone that doesn’t break the bank? Head down to Knutsford Market Hall and meet Asim, the owner of Knutsford Mobile which has opened this week.

Asim Qadeer has opened up in the centre of Knutsford taking a stall in the Market Hall. Knutsford Mobile offers is a handy and convenient mobile phone repairs and accessory stall, selling mobile and laptop accessories and offering repairs.

Asim said, “I am delighted to be joining Knutsford Market Hall and have been made to feel really welcome by my fellow traders.  I am looking forward to solving Knutsford’s mobile phone and IT issues so please pay me a visit!”

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said, “a practical IT repair stall is something that we all need from time to time, so we’re pleased to welcome Knutsford Mobile to the Market Hall family.”

The Market Hall is open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am to 4pm.   Inside you’ll find authentic Thai food, a deli offering olives and Turkish delight, a traditional barber, second hand vinyl, fresh fruit and veg, a butchers, greeting cards, dog treats and accessories, a crystal stall and a café.

man stood in cafe on the corner

Cafe on the Corner joins Taste Knutsford

One of Knutsford’s much loved and well-established cafes, Café on the Corner, have joined Taste Knutsford. Taste Knutsford is a walking food and drink tour which visits around seven venues sampling from a range of independent venues.

Taste Knutsford was established in 2018 and promotes and supports a range of independent venues in the town centre including:

  • April’s Kitchen
  • Cranford Café & Sandwich Bar
  • Dexter and Jones
  • Evuna
  • Morgan Edwards
  • Hot Cocoa
  • King Street Kitchen
  • Real Fruit Creamery
  • Courthouse Cheshire
  • The Market Hall Butcher
  • The Market Café
  • The Tea Room
  • Detaljer
  • Tatton Perk

Seho Karakas, owner of Café on the Corner said, “We are excited to join the Taste Knutsford team and meet the tour guests.  We are offering a brunch or lunch option which combines the best of British with the best of Turkish!”

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager, said, “We love arranging these tours.  The feedback we receive from guests regarding the tours is always positive with guests leaving very full! Our tour guides are knowledgeable about each venue and the town, encouraging guests to stay, linger and spend in Knutsford.”

Any small regional or independent hospitality venue can take part in the tour and if you wish be a tour guest you can book via www.tasteknutsford.co.uk  Private tours for 8 or more can also be arranged.

man pointing to taste knutsford sign
Group of people chatting

Knutsford at Home

If you are looking for interior design advice and inspiration, then look no further than Knutsford on September 16th, when the town holds it’s second Knutsford at Home event.

The event is a collaboration between Knutsford’s home and interior shops and businesses in the town centre and will offer shoppers,  inspiration, advice, and ideas as we move into the autumn and winter seasons.

The day’s programme is full of interesting talks, presentations, one-off offers and in some cases fizz and goody bags.

The businesses taking part are Aperture Doors, Arthur Lee, Detaljer, Flock of Arts, Havwoods, Holly Johnson Antiques, Kendal Quality Carpets, Oka, Sofas and Stuff, Suzy Watson Designs, and Terzetto.

Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Council’s Town Centre Manager, said, “The day’s programme is fantastic and ideal for all home enthusiasts. You can book a talk and pick up gardening advice from RHS member and ex-Head Gardener of Tatton Park Sam Youd at Sofas and Stuff, create a mood board at Susie Watson Designs and even hop on a Havwood’s Routemaster bus to find out about all things flooring”.

Ben Whittaker of Flock of Arts said, “We are delighted to be taking part in this event and love the collaboration with the other interior shops. We will be focusing on the importance of colour and style when choosing a frame as well as showcasing our eclectic range of antiques”.

Lyndsey of Havwoods, said, “We are excited to finally bring our famous Havwoods Routemaster Bus to Knutsford. You will find the bus outside the Lost & Found providing an additional location for us alongside our Regent Street Showroom, which is open for visitors to discover our beautiful range of luxury wood flooring and cladding products.”.

A full programme can be picked up at any participating shop plus Knutsford Library, The Curzon, Knutsford Railway Station, and other shops within the town centre. Those interested can also follow Knutsford Town Council’s Facebook page and the event’s Instagram page Knutsford at Home.

Man with products from stall

Digby and Champ new stall holder at Knutsford Market Hall

A speciality dog stall Digby and Champ has opened within Knutsford Market Hall.

The stall offers everything dog owners and their dogs could ever need or want! On offer is a gorgeous range of treats, chews, toys, clothes, grooming products, and accessories.  Digby and Champ are already established in Chester Market Hall, and this is their second venture.

Will Mason, owner said, “We are delighted to join Knutsford Market Hall and have received a warm welcome from both traders and residents.  We know Knutsford is such a dog friendly town and we are looking forward to meeting all its four-legged friends.  We stock everything a dog and dog owners could possibly want so do pop in!

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said, “We are delighted to have Digby and Champ join our Market Hall family. The stall looks fantastic with a great range of products that will appeal to all the dog owners of Knutsford and beyond!”

Knutsford Market Hall is open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am to 4pm.   Traders are as follows – Kanom Thai, Med Olives, The Market Butcher, M&J Cards, Jonty’s Fruit & Veg, The Market Café, The Market Hall Barber, Slipped Discs and Nyx Cat Crystals.

man with shop products
The 15 town councillors with the town mayor at the centre

100 actions to deliver on plan

Knutsford Town Council has set out the 100 actions it will be delivering by May 2024 as the first action plan under its new 10-year strategy.

In June, the Town Council adopted a new 10 year plan to guide its work through to 2032. The strategy sets out the core aims and objectives of the council for the ensuing decade. Work on creating the new strategy started in summer 2022 with public engagement sessions where the community was asked to identify the key issues that needed attention in the Town. A further consultation was held in spring 2023, with a draft plan presented for feedback.

“In developing our new strategy we wanted to ensure it carried the voice of the community throughout, so the entire plan is built on the feedback we received from those who took part in our two consultations” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

The plan sets out six strategic aims for the council:

  1. Knutsford Town Centre will be a thriving and unique destination for residents and visitors alike
  2. We will enable residents to choose to reduce their reliance on cars by improving the desirability of walking, cycling and using public transport
  3. Knutsford will have a diverse network of green spaces, a biodiverse natural environment and a reduced carbon footprint
  4. Knutsford’s heritage will be understood, conserved and celebrated
  5. We will lead a strong, connected community with a thriving community spirit and civic pride
  6. Knutsford residents will have access to the services and facilities they need to live happy and healthy lives.

Each aim is supported by a series of specific objectives which the council has already set out working to achieve. The council has restructured its committees to deliver the plan, and each committee has been tasked with developing detailed action plans for how it will turn words into actions.

Amongst the various objectives the council has committed to achieving are developing a town centre masterplan, creating an active travel plan and working to create new permissive walking routes, improving Knutsford’s green spaces, and expanding its Town Ranger service. The plan also sets out the council’s commitment to supporting the success of community groups and working to lobby external bodies to improve access to key services, such as working to deliver a new medical centre.

The council has now agreed its first 100 specific action for the current civic year. These include:

  • Launching a regular e-newsletter
  • Leading joint stakeholder meetings to agree a delivery plan for improved medical facilities
  • Developing a Green Spaces Strategy in partnership with local Friends groups
  • Concluding formal reviews of the town’s Conservation Areas
  • Commencing work on a Town Centre Masterplan and Active Travel Infrastructure Plan

The full action plan, including target dates, is available on the Town Council website at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/strategicplan

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “This plan is purposefully ambitious, and it is going to take a lot of work, but I am looking forward to working with my fellow councillors and our team of officers to make these actions a reality and help make Knutsford a better place for us all”

A collection of community stalls in a church

Call for groups to join ReFresh

Knutsford’s Community freshers-style fair, ReFresh Knutsford, is set to return in September giving community groups, charities, and clubs the opportunity to showcase their organisation and recruit members.

Organised by Knutsford Town Council, ReFresh Knutsford emerged in 2021 as a community fair based on the concept of a ‘freshers fair’. The event gave Knutsford residents old and new the opportunity to discover organisations and clubs and connect them better to things going on in the community.

Knutsford Town Council are currently recruiting community groups, charities, and clubs to showcase their organisation on 2nd September. The event will be held across two venues: St Johns Church and Egerton Place from 1pm – 3pm. It is free to exhibit for all groups.

Communication Officer Laura Anderson said ‘Knutsford is lucky to be the home of many interesting clubs and community groups. We understand it can be hard for clubs to get their organisation known and for residents to find exactly what they are looking for. This event for is a brilliant opportunity to connect these groups to local residents and showcase what they do’

Any group wishing to exhibit at this event can do so by contacting enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk . The deadline for expressions of interest is 25th Jul 2023.