Cllr Mike Houghton outside the Council Offices

Consultation launched on council’s strategic plan

A consultation has been launched on Knutsford Town Council’s draft strategy for the next ten years.

The strategic plan was developed following community consultation in Summer 2022, when the Town Council held a series of workshops and an online survey to hear from residents what they wanted to see the council address in the coming years.

The plan is an overarching strategy and intentionally doesn’t detail the solutions. It details the council’s core aims and objectives – how the council delivers on this will be set out as it progresses through the next decade.

The five strategic aims set out by the council are:

  • Supporting a thriving Town Centre
  • Promoting Active Travel
  • Leading a Strong Community
  • Improving Open Spaces and the Environment
  • Ensuring access to services and facilities

The aims are what the council will work towards in the long term and each is supported by a series of objectives which sets out how they will make these aims a reality. Each year the council will  produce specific action plans detailing what it will be doing to meet our objectives.

“This plan was built on the back of what we were told in our community engagement sessions last year and aims to ensure the council is addressing the needs and ambitions of the community” said Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton. 

“Before the plan is adopted, we want to ensure it has your support. We want to hear from you again to tell us if you agree with our aims and objectives and to suggest what specific actions you believe the council should be undertaking to deliver them.”

The consultation runs until Friday 3rd March. The Town Council will then review all feedback and present a revised plan for adoption to the new council following the May 2023 elections.

The plan can be read online at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/strategicplan and feedback provided by the accompanying feedback form. Comments can also be submitted by email to strategicplan@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk. Paper copies of the plan and questionnaire can be found in Knutsford Library, The Welcome and Knutsford Market Hall. 

The council is also hosting an open forum on the strategy at 7pm on Wednesday 22nd February in Knutsford Methodist Church. At the meeting the council will talk through the development of the plan and answer any questions from the community.

Caterine from Detaljer and Ian from Slipped Discs holding records

Detaljer and Slipped Discs join forces!

Two local independent businesses are joining forces and introducing “Music Monday’s” to Knutsford.

 

Slipped Discs of Knutsford Market Hall will be having a DJ pop-up at Princess Street’s Detaljer playing records, spanning all music genres, to ease customers into the working week.

 

Caterine Hooper, owner of Detaljer said, “We are delighted to be working with fellow Knutsford independent Slipped Discs.  Ian and his vinyl will be joining us each Monday, from 6th February, to provide some background entertainment for our customers. Ian will be taking requests though and if you want something a little more lively just ask. There will be a small selection of vinyl to buy too. Fika and vinyl a match made in heaven!”

 

The initial plans are to have the DJ pop-up each Monday for 4 weeks to see how people respond, and then it may be held each month. Slipped Discs will be focusing on a different theme of music each week and will be at Detaljer from 11am – 2pm each Monday in February.

 

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager, said, “We’ve such a strong band of independent retailers in Knutsford and it is great to see them working together. We hope Detaljer’s customers enjoy the vibe and if it showcases one of our lovely Market Hall traders and encourages people to visit the market then everyone is a winner!”

 

Knutsford Market Hall is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 8am-4pm, with the options to open on additional days with agreement. The market is home to a café, womenswear, a vinyl record shop, a baby and child clothing boutique, garden ornaments, a butcher and fruit and veg stall. A greeting card stall is coming soon.

 

Detaljer is a Swedish café and lifestyle store and is open Monday-Friday 8am – 4pm, Saturday 8.30am to 4.30pm and 9.30am – 4.00pm on Sunday.

 

 

Press contact – Sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk
Photo    Caterine Hooper of Detaljer and Ian Drinkwater of Slipped Discs

Town Mayor stands outside Evuna, wearing the Mayor's Chain

Town Mayor invites town to dinner

Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Mike Houghton is inviting the town to dinner with his next fundraising event – an evening of tapas and paella.

The latest ‘Dine with the Mayor’ will take place on the evening of Thursday 9th February and is hosted by Evuna. Tickets are just £31 per person and all profits from the evening will go to the Mayor’s chosen Charities: Knutsford Scouts and UK Men’s Shed. 

Opening sales for the event, Mike said ‘I do hope you will be able to join me for this fundraising event.  There will be delicious food, great company, and a chance to win prizes in the fundraising raffle!”

The dinner follows the Mayor’s Annual Pub Quiz which is taking place at The Angel on the 2nd February which is now sold out. If you’ve missed out on the quiz, get in early for the Town Mayor’s Music quiz on Friday 10th March.

Tickets for these events can be booked by emailing laura.phillipson@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or calling 01565 653 929.

A man on a stage in the Moor

Knutsford Music Festival 2023

Dates have been confirmed for the 2023 Knutsford Music Festival, which returns for a three-day celebration of all things music this June!

The popular festival will return this summer for its sixth year, following five successful festivals between 2017 and 2022. The festival hosts a variety of events across the weekend in multiple venues across the town centre.

Three nights of folk shows hosted by Mark Radcliffe will return hosting a number of folk award winners and nominees in Knutsford Little Theatre and St John’s Church.

Friday Night Blues will also make a comeback after a sell out show in 2022, which was hosted at Brook Street Chapel Hall.

Music on the Moor will take place on Saturday 10th June. This free event sees live music, refreshments and activities for all ages from 12-4pm on the Moor behind King Street car park.

Local businesses will also host their own music events throughout the weekend as part of the festival fringe with events ranging from open mic nights, acoustic and band performances to DJ nights!

There is currently an open call for artists to get in touch if you are interested in performing at this year’s festival. You can email info@knutsfordmusicfestival.com to apply.

Full plans for this year’s festival programme will be confirmed over the coming months – to keep up to date with news and announcements you can follow the festival on social media or visit www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com

Millennium Bursary Open for Nominations

Second year university students from Knutsford have the opportunity of winning a £575 bursary to support their final year studies through the Knutsford Millennium Bursary.

The Millennium Bursary, which was launched by Knutsford Town Council and Knutsford Lions in 2000, provides an award to support students as they go into their final year of university. It is open to any student who usually resides in Knutsford or Toft.

To apply, students simply need to complete an online application form by Friday 17th February.

Applications can be submitted here:  https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/millennium-bursary/apply

A virtual interview will then be arranged with the Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton and Lydia Kennedy from Knutsford Lions who will decide which student to award the bursary to. Knutsford Lions may also make additional discretionary awards.

2022 Town Award Winners with Stewart Gardiner

Nominations Open for 10th Annual Knutsford Town Awards

The call has gone out for residents to nominate their community heroes for the 10th annual Knutsford Town Awards. The awards have been sponsored by the Forum of Private business once again.

The awards recognise those who make the Knutsford community so special with awards presented across five categories. Nominations can be made online at the Town Council website by 17th February.

Nominations can be submitted for any of the following categories:

The Civic Award which recognises the work of individuals. Last year’s winners included Eileen Podmore for her long and dedicated service at the Knutsford Royal May Day Committee.

The Youth Award which recognises those aged 21 and under. Last year the award was jointly awarded to Brooke McAteer and Ben Ormerod for their public speaking at Cheshire East Council calling for reduced speed limits.

The Business Award recognises businesses who give something back to their community, such as last year’s award winners Co-Op Knutsford for their proactive engagement with local groups.

The Community Award shines the light on local charities, committees, and other groups. Last year it went to the Knutsford Friendship Café for their work supporting carers and those with dementia.

Finally, the Extra Mile Award is for those who go above and beyond in their paid work for the benefit of the local community such as 2022 winner Ximena Massam who won the award for going the extra mile as chef at the Welcome Café.

“I have said before what a wonderfully vibrant community Knutsford has, and these awards aim to shine a light on those who make it so. We need you to tell us who you believe deserves an award this year, so please take the time to submit your nomination” said Cllr Mike Houghton, Mayor of Knutsford.

Nominations can be submitted at https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/town-awards/nominate

Paul Langley with Ian Drinkwater of Slipped Discs

Calling all local shopping champions

Knutsford Town Council is calling on all residents and lovers of Knutsford’s high street to get in touch and join a social media campaign to promote the variety of shops on offer.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager, said, “In an increasingly difficult economic climate it is more important than ever to champion our town centre and its wonderful businesses.  We are asking residents and supporters of our town to get in touch and let us know their three favourite shops.  We will then video or interview these shopping champions and share their ‘top shops’ on our social media platforms.  Restaurants, pubs, clothes shops to hardware shops – we don’t mind. The most difficult thing is actually choosing the top three!”.

First up was local resident Paul Langley who chose Detaljer, Slipped Discs of Knutsford Market Hall and The Cheeseyard.  A few more residents are already lined up and if you wish to join them, please email Sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Paul Langley, said, “I am proud to be part of this initiative and support our wonderful businesses. I would urge everyone to get involved!”

Proposals invited for future of Knutsford’s iconic 60 King Street

Knutsford Town Council is inviting detailed proposals for the future of 60 King Street, the iconic Grade II* listed building also known as Kings Coffee House. The building, which has been vacant since 2019, offers a unique opportunity for a range of uses in the centre of the Knutsford high street.

The council had been exploring the feasibility of securing major heritage lottery funding to renovate the building in one go, however following further investigation it concluded the likelihood of success in the incredibly competitive funding programmes was too low weighed against the likely investment required to develop a competing bid.

At a Town Council meeting on 10th January, the Town Council voted to invite proposals for a range of uses to enable it to determine the future of the building, including for community led schemes and the sale of the freehold.

Community led proposals should provide a detailed plan of how the building will be used and include a business case for how the building will be operated, how repairs will be funded and phased, detail the personnel involved in the project and provide a project timeline and action plan.

At the same time, the council will also consider offers for the sale of the freehold of the building. With a guide price of £1.1m, it is a rare opportunity to own a prestigious building and proposals for the purchase should include the proposed purchase price, an overview of proposed alterations and setting out he proposed use for the building and how it will support Knutsford Town Centre.

The council is also open to considering any other proposals including lettings.

More information on submissions is available at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/60ks. All proposals must be submitted by 4pm on 10th March and will be considered at a special Town Council meeting w/c 20th March.

Viewings of the building for those preparing a proposal will be held on Friday 27th January from 10am to 4pm; booking is required and a slot can be booked by emailing townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk with your preferred time.

Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton said “The Town Council recognises the importance of this incredible building and will carefully consider all proposals received, seeking to find the best future for the building for Knutsford”

“It is important to remember that this is a Grade II* listed building meaning the integrity of the property will always be protected adding, as it does, so significantly to the town’s unique character”

marketing stock photo

Free skills and business development workshops

Knutsford Town Council is hosting a series of workshops aimed at supporting and developing local businesses and skills that will help them compete.

The workshops, which are free to all Knutsford based businesses, are being delivered by local businesses to support their fellow traders by sharing expertise, experience, and tips.

The first workshops to be delivered are:

  • 31st January – Instagram with Kate Rowland, Bella Marketing and Design
  • 13th February – Leadership, Planning and Control with Kevin Jardine, Retail Excellence Partnership
  • 7th March – Excel at Customer Service with Peter Murray, Pulse of Perfumery
  • 21st March – Getting the most from Canva with Rachael McCann, Knutsford Admin
  • 17th April – Window Display and Visual Merchandising with Sue Cottingham, Living-uk

Each workshop will start at 6.15pm and will be held at The Courthouse Cheshire or Knutsford Town Council Offices on Toft Road.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said, “We are blessed with some fantastic business owners here who work extremely hard but who also want to share their experiences, knowledge, and skillset.

These workshops work both ways – if a business owner wants to attend and share their ideas that is great too.  Anything that helps Knutsford maintain its competitiveness in these difficult times is welcome. This is the first draft of workshops and in the future, we are hoping to add TikTok, other social platforms as well as SEO and Google analytics. We are also extremely grateful to the Courthouse Cheshire for offering their facilities free of charge – it all shows how fortunate we are to have a wonderful business community in Knutsford”.

If any Knutsford based business wishes to attend or offer to run a workshop, please contact sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Town councillors 2022

Chance to find out about being a town councillor

In May 2023, residents will head to the polls to elect their 15 town councillors – but only if people put themselves forward for election.

Elections are held for the 15 seats on the council every four years and the last full elections in May 2019 saw 14 councillors elected unopposed with one co-opted by the council a month later. With up to eight of the current councillors potentially not standing for re-election this year, the Town Council is keen to promote the opportunity of serving as a councillor and see contested elections across all five wards.

The Town Council is hosting two information evenings to help potential candidates decide if being a councillor is right for them.

The sessions will include an overview of what the council can and cannot do, the role of a town councillor and the process for standing for election.  They will also include a Q&A with serving town councillors so residents can here just what the life of a town councillor actually is.

“Perhaps you aren’t sure what the role of a councillor involves, you want to know how it could work with your other commitments or you’re daunted by the election process – maybe you actually want to be standing for Cheshire East Council. These sessions aim to help you decide whether to stand this May” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

The sessions take place at 7pm on Thursday 16th February and Monday 20th February in the Council Offices. The second session will also be livestreamed to Facebook.

Questions for the Q&A, about the role of being a councillor, can be submitted to townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or asked on the evening.