KNUTSFORD’S hugely popular artisan market faces an uncertain future in its current guise after traders were sent a letter saying the company was to be dissolved.
The Artisan Market Company was set up by Denise Valente and Vicky Jackson in 2011 in an attempt to boost Wilmslow’s offering for townsfolk and customers.
It proved to be popular with shoppers and due to demand the first Knutsford event was held in April 2013 In January this year the market finished runner-up in Mary Portas’ High Street Champion of the Year Award.
But on Monday Ms Valente sent an email with a formal notification that the Artisan Market partnership had been legally dissolved.
The letter states that the business will no longer trade nor operate as the artisan market and that each of the partners will be able to undertake business on their own account, but not as the current name.
Vicky Jackson, one of the artisan market partners, added: “I believe in these town events and I am extremely passionate about them. They are about the communities, the traders, the town councils and the people who visit them.
“I will do my utmost to ensure that they continue.”
But acting town clerk Adam Keppel-Garner stressed to the Guardian that it was committed to holding a monthly market.
“The town council were informed of the dissolution yesterday (Monday),” he said.
“This should not affect the April market.
“We will be meeting with the organisers of the market to establish the smooth running and continuity of the market for the future, but the council is committed to there being a monthly street market for the foreseeable future.”
The market added it will continue its events that have been organised as part of the ‘wind-up’ of the Artisan Market partnership.
The letter adds that the company is ‘fully committed to fulfilling the outstanding commitments of the partnership and intends to do so as professionally as possible.’ Denise Valente declined to comment to the Guardian.
MARIANNE Evans, who has run her ‘Mummy Bakes’ stall at the Artisan Market in Knutsford told the Guardian she hoped there would be a way to ‘salvage’ the market.
“For me, as a newly established trader, I only do the Knutsford Artisan, but out of each market I tend to get two to three bespoke order customers, as well as regular customers who come to buy on market days themselves,” she said.
“Losing this trading avenue will force me to rethink what I do next, how I can continue to trade and reach new customers in such a niche sector.
“I hope there is some way to salvage this as the Artisan days create such a huge buzz in the town, and provide small, local traders an opportunity to share and market their products.”