‘Where Next’ for 60 King Street is the question Knutsford Town Council is asking the local community as part of a consultation to inform how the iconic Grade II* listed building will be used in the future.
The building, also known as Kings Coffee House, was home to the Belle Epoque until 2019 and previous attempts to find a new tenant were unsuccessful. In 2021 the council changed approach and appointed heritage consultants to lead a major grant bid to secure funds to regenerate and reimagine the building.
Speaking in a video released to promote the consultation, Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner said “Our vision is for a hybrid community and commercial space that will serve the whole of Knutsford but ensure the building remains financially viable”
The council has developed a range of ideas as to how the building could be used in the future to both generate income to offset maintenance costs and deliver a direct community benefit as had originally been intended when the Kings Coffee House was opened by its creator Richard Harding Watt.
“To help us shape our plans we are holding an open consultation, because we want to know your views on how this space should be used in the future” Cllr Gardiner added.
The survey aims to ensure that the building responds to the needs of the Knutsford community by helping identify gaps in service and space provision within the town.
Aware that many residents will not be aware of the extent of the property, the council is opening the doors of the building and offering a series of guided tours on Saturday 23rd April to enable the community to see the whole building and grounds. Numbers on the tours are limited and pre-booking is required. Each tour will end with a group discussion on what they have seen and their initial thoughts on how the building could be best used.
The survey and booking form for the guided tours can be found at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/60KS. Paper versions of the survey can be collected from Knutsford Library, Knutsford Market Hall and the Council Offices. Residents not on the internet can book a space on a tour by calling 01565 653 929.
To support the consultation, and for those unable to attend a tour, the council has released a short promotional video which features interior and exterior views of the building; the video can be viewed on the council website.