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.