KNUTSFORD homeowners will be given a New Year bonus in their council tax bill thanks to a grant from Manchester Airport.

Knutsford Town Council has set a precept of £228,000 for the 2013/14 tax year but included in that is a one-off grant from the airport of £75,000 – as a result of the runway two compensation package deal agreed in August.

The town precept rose last year as a result of the council taking on some of the town’s assets – a deal to take over two toilets blocks has already been agreed.

In 2012/13 the town precept request equated to a band D property paying £37.85 a year for services provided by Knutsford Town Council while in 2011/12 that cost was £13.07.

The council has said that due to the grant, that band D property figure will be lower than £37.85.

Steve McQuade, town clerk, said: “I have asked Cheshire East Council to issue bills that will mean we actually collect £153,000 from the charge payers of Knutsford.

“The remainder of what we need by way of precept will come from the airport monies for which the council on behalf of the public is extremely grateful to receive.

“As such the residents of the town need to understand that they have received a one-off rebate and that next year all other things being equal the starting point for the precept will be around the £228,000 mark.”

The town council has also received an £18,000 grant from Cheshire East Council, which has acted as a tax break in line with recent changes in the tax system.

Clr Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council’s member in charge of finance, said: “Developing a system and implementing it within a few weeks is not easy, but we knew parishes and town councils have to set precepts to a tight timescale.

“Most of the grant letters were sent out within 24 hours of the decision and I would like to thank Cheshire East for their hard work.”