Mistletoe Market village proposed for Knutsford

Knutsford Guardian: Mistletoe Market village proposed for Knutsford Mistletoe Market village proposed for Knutsford

THOUSANDS of visitors could be flocking to Knutsford this winter thanks to a new six-week Christmas Market.

Wilmslow-based Living World Events has joined forces with The Tatton Estate to create ‘Mistletoe Markets Knutsford’.

The market, proposed to operate from November 14 to December 23, would see 100 traditional wooden chalets erected on Little Heath, selling a variety of produce and wares, a central bar, Santa’s Grotto with a lapland style tepee and Christmas Tree Forest.

Representatives from Living World Events and The Tatton Estate presented the proposals to Knutsford Town Council’s Events Committee on Monday, March 3.

Speaking at last night’s meeting, Jemma Gilmartin, Living World Events’ Managing Director, said: “We felt that Cheshire was missing some Christmas spirit and at that time of year, you find yourself driving to Manchester or Chester for Christmas-related events.

“We want to create a magical feeling around the town, create a buzz around Knutsford’s town centre, and really make sure everybody is benefitting from it.”

Henry Brooks, from The Tatton Estate, owner of the Heath, spoke with great enthusiasm about the proposed market.

“I am delighted that Living World are prepared to take a risk on our town and take a big step to increase footfall into Knutsford,” he said.

“The fact that we are talking about this now, in March, shows how much organising and consultation we are doing. The whole point is to engage and get feedback so that it’s really thought through with residents, traders and the town council in mind.”

The Big Heath would be used for parking for the market’s duration and the market would be open from 12pm to 8pm from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sundays.

The organisers would donate a chalet for charity use and weekly community events would take place such as fancy dress, drama club performances and a fashion show.

Business raises concern over market plans

A KNUTSFORD trader told the meeting that she was concerned about the threat the event may have on her and other town centre businesses.

Julia Chard, owner of Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, was present at the meeting and voiced her concerns about the threat of competition for existing businesses.

She said: “It’s brilliant things coming into Knutsford and we embrace everything that comes into the town. However, I can’t afford to staff my shop and also staff a chalet at the market, and also can’t afford to have traders coming in selling the same product.

“My biggest concern is that I will be shutting the door at the end of the year and not opening it again.”

Henry Brooks addressed Julia’s concern and said the whole idea was to bring more people into the town, ‘not cannibalise’ existing trade and that the markets would be a leisure activity as much as a retail activity.

Members, although in general ‘wholeheartedly supported’ to the proposals, also expressed concerns, principally the increase in traffic, the threat of competition for existing traders and the proximity of the market to neighbouring houses.

Some suggestions were given, such as working directly with current traders and residents and encouraging visitors into the town by collaborating with train companies.

Living World Events and The Tatton Estate will be holding a ‘Mistletoe Markets Knutsford’ open evening for the public on March 27 at The Old Town Hall on Princess Street from 6pm to 8pm.

“There is lots of planning and preparation to go into this, but we felt the sooner we get people behind this and the input of the community the better,” Jemma added.

WHAT do you think of the plans? Do you think it would benefit the town or hinder trade? Comment below.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:34pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Cesana says...

Dear Knutsford Guardian
I have read about the proposed Christmas Mistletoe Market proposal with dismay. Firstly, I cannot see that this will add to business and trade in Knutsford Town Centre - it is much more likely to take business away. If people can buy gifts and drink beer on the Little Heath what need would they have to walk into town and visit the pubs and shops there?

Secondly, the proposal is for this giant outdoor bierkeller style fest to take place in an area that runs right along a residential street. The many elderly and hard-working residents of Gaskell Avenue deserve a bit of peace and quiet at weekends. The idea that we will have music, beer, food cooking and charity performances going on twelve feet away from our living room windows 7 days a week, for 40 days and nights straight, in the run up to Christmas is not something that any of us would look forward to. I don't think anyone would want this opposite their front room for almost six weeks. If the people of Knutsford want such a thing, it would be far better to allow it to take place on an area of the Big Heath where it can be kept well away from anyone's private homes. I urge the Town Council not to grant a licence for the sale of alcohol on the Little Heath for this event. A long weekend festival would be happily tolerated but not 40 days including Sundays. I would not wish this on any street in Knutsford. Please can someone have a little thought for the residents?

I'm not sure that Mr Henry Brooks would be quite so enthusiastic about this if it were going to be parked in front of his own house, and Jemma Gilmartin's comment that she felt "Cheshire was missing some Christmas spirit" is frankly insulting. We have a wonderful lights switch on ceremony and a Christmas Market already.
What your article does not say is that these events people already have a website up announcing the Mistletoe Market Knutsford as already happening. Anyone who looks at the website will see that the intention is that the market will be a one-stop shop - it is not designed to encourage people to shop in Knutsford town or to visit the restaurants and pubs there either. Jemma Gilmartin has just emailed me to announce that the venue cannot be changed, despite my request to hold it on the Big Heath instead of the Little Heath. These people do not care about Knutsford or Knutsfordians. They only care about making money.

Sarah Ganczarski
Dear Knutsford Guardian I have read about the proposed Christmas Mistletoe Market proposal with dismay. Firstly, I cannot see that this will add to business and trade in Knutsford Town Centre - it is much more likely to take business away. If people can buy gifts and drink beer on the Little Heath what need would they have to walk into town and visit the pubs and shops there? Secondly, the proposal is for this giant outdoor bierkeller style fest to take place in an area that runs right along a residential street. The many elderly and hard-working residents of Gaskell Avenue deserve a bit of peace and quiet at weekends. The idea that we will have music, beer, food cooking and charity performances going on twelve feet away from our living room windows 7 days a week, for 40 days and nights straight, in the run up to Christmas is not something that any of us would look forward to. I don't think anyone would want this opposite their front room for almost six weeks. If the people of Knutsford want such a thing, it would be far better to allow it to take place on an area of the Big Heath where it can be kept well away from anyone's private homes. I urge the Town Council not to grant a licence for the sale of alcohol on the Little Heath for this event. A long weekend festival would be happily tolerated but not 40 days including Sundays. I would not wish this on any street in Knutsford. Please can someone have a little thought for the residents? I'm not sure that Mr Henry Brooks would be quite so enthusiastic about this if it were going to be parked in front of his own house, and Jemma Gilmartin's comment that she felt "Cheshire was missing some Christmas spirit" is frankly insulting. We have a wonderful lights switch on ceremony and a Christmas Market already. What your article does not say is that these events people already have a website up announcing the Mistletoe Market Knutsford as already happening. Anyone who looks at the website will see that the intention is that the market will be a one-stop shop - it is not designed to encourage people to shop in Knutsford town or to visit the restaurants and pubs there either. Jemma Gilmartin has just emailed me to announce that the venue cannot be changed, despite my request to hold it on the Big Heath instead of the Little Heath. These people do not care about Knutsford or Knutsfordians. They only care about making money. Sarah Ganczarski Cesana
  • Score: 1

6:59am Fri 7 Mar 14

Cesana says...

On further reflection, why on earth is this event planned for Knutsford at all? Leeds and Chester both had only 40 chalets in their Christmas Markets, and those were on hardstanding. This event could wreck the entire Heath. The venue does not need to be moved to the Big Heath as I first thought - the entire thing needs to be removed as a plan at all. Anyone concerned, please write to Councillor Stewart Gardiner. We need to stop this plan in its tracks, otherwise where will it end? Chalets for 6 weeks in the summer as well? Chalets all year round? The website for Living World Events (the people hired by Henry Brooks) refers to the Big Heath as Knutsford's "largest car park".
On further reflection, why on earth is this event planned for Knutsford at all? Leeds and Chester both had only 40 chalets in their Christmas Markets, and those were on hardstanding. This event could wreck the entire Heath. The venue does not need to be moved to the Big Heath as I first thought - the entire thing needs to be removed as a plan at all. Anyone concerned, please write to Councillor Stewart Gardiner. We need to stop this plan in its tracks, otherwise where will it end? Chalets for 6 weeks in the summer as well? Chalets all year round? The website for Living World Events (the people hired by Henry Brooks) refers to the Big Heath as Knutsford's "largest car park". Cesana
  • Score: 0

9:33am Fri 7 Mar 14

chatrouge says...

I would be interested to know the opinion of the Friends of the Heath about the effects on this natural amenity after being transformed into a car park for six weeks, especially six weeks in winter.
I would be interested to know the opinion of the Friends of the Heath about the effects on this natural amenity after being transformed into a car park for six weeks, especially six weeks in winter. chatrouge
  • Score: 2

10:09pm Mon 10 Mar 14

TobyW1973 says...

100 is a lot, perhaps too many. I'm not even sure Manchester has 100 at Christmas. It does seem an overkill considering the size of Knutsford. Why not do what Manchester did, start small and grow over time.
100 is a lot, perhaps too many. I'm not even sure Manchester has 100 at Christmas. It does seem an overkill considering the size of Knutsford. Why not do what Manchester did, start small and grow over time. TobyW1973
  • Score: 1

1:27pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Cesana says...

The Manchester Christmas markets in 2012 brought in a total of £1,474,256.56 in stall rents, according to a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It seems extraordinary that Mr Brooks, who backs STAG to protect Tatton Park from the Bewilderwood Development, and also gives his backing to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, should be happy to ruin a piece of his own land in Knutsford in this manner. However, the aforementioned figure is presumably the explanation...
The Manchester Christmas markets in 2012 brought in a total of £1,474,256.56 in stall rents, according to a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It seems extraordinary that Mr Brooks, who backs STAG to protect Tatton Park from the Bewilderwood Development, and also gives his backing to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, should be happy to ruin a piece of his own land in Knutsford in this manner. However, the aforementioned figure is presumably the explanation... Cesana
  • Score: 1

7:55pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Cally87 says...

I am amazed that something of this scale is being considered for a 6 week period. Part of the success of the Knutsford Artisan Market is down to it being held just once a month. A market running for the entire Christmas period will be incredibly disruptive to residents and local businesses. If the monthly market needs to be alternated between top and bottom street in order to make sure that it benefits all the local shops (as is being discussed currently), then I fail to see how a market on the edge of the town is going to generate income for anyone except the people renting out the stalls.

The website connected to this 'proposed' event states:
"Mistletoe Markets Knutsford will be open for your shopping pleasure on Friday 14th November 2014".

Sounds like the decision has already been made, regardless of local opinion.
I am amazed that something of this scale is being considered for a 6 week period. Part of the success of the Knutsford Artisan Market is down to it being held just once a month. A market running for the entire Christmas period will be incredibly disruptive to residents and local businesses. If the monthly market needs to be alternated between top and bottom street in order to make sure that it benefits all the local shops (as is being discussed currently), then I fail to see how a market on the edge of the town is going to generate income for anyone except the people renting out the stalls. The website connected to this 'proposed' event states: "Mistletoe Markets Knutsford will be open for your shopping pleasure on Friday 14th November 2014". Sounds like the decision has already been made, regardless of local opinion. Cally87
  • Score: 1

9:33am Wed 12 Mar 14

chatrouge says...

Cally87 said: "Sounds like the decision has already been made..."

It's a classic tactic of persuading by giving the impression of inevitability. (The proposed development on Booths Hall parkland is being presented in exactly the same way.)
Cally87 said: "Sounds like the decision has already been made..." It's a classic tactic of persuading by giving the impression of inevitability. (The proposed development on Booths Hall parkland is being presented in exactly the same way.) chatrouge
  • Score: 0

10:46am Wed 12 Mar 14

Cesana says...

I've put a petition up on Change.Org - please visit and sign if you want to stop this proposal. It's called, STOP MISTLETOE MARKET COMING TO KNUTSFORD HEATH. Thanks to any supporters out there.
I've put a petition up on Change.Org - please visit and sign if you want to stop this proposal. It's called, STOP MISTLETOE MARKET COMING TO KNUTSFORD HEATH. Thanks to any supporters out there. Cesana
  • Score: -1

10:49am Wed 12 Mar 14

Cesana says...

Winchester, Bath, Lincoln and Birmingham, who all run Christmas markets, have all experienced severe traffic congestion as a result. It only takes a few seconds searching local press stories to find this out. Reviews on Tripadvisor from visitors to various of these events complain of queues, overcrowding, having no room to move around the market, lack of Christmas atmosphere and over-priced goods for sale.
Winchester, Bath, Lincoln and Birmingham, who all run Christmas markets, have all experienced severe traffic congestion as a result. It only takes a few seconds searching local press stories to find this out. Reviews on Tripadvisor from visitors to various of these events complain of queues, overcrowding, having no room to move around the market, lack of Christmas atmosphere and over-priced goods for sale. Cesana
  • Score: -1

4:12pm Wed 12 Mar 14

mostynthecat says...

100 stalls plus even a few dozen visitors on the little heath? Those 2 figures do not add up with the space available.
Then we have the "thousands of visitors" crossing Northwich Road throughout the day (especially at rush hour), erm Health and Safety anyone.
Then the farce of what will be hundreds of cars stuck in the mud on the Heath - as I'm certain Eno from North West Tonight weather will predict it will rain in November and December, and imagine the pictures in the national press of said stuck cars really "enhancing" the "reputation" of Knutsford.
Also has anyone considered that Manchester Christmas Markets will be on the same dates - and where will most traders want to be, Manchester with greater footfall and the fact that their stalls will not be sinking in the mud.

In short whoever has come up with this proposal either knows nothing about business, the actual location or both
100 stalls plus even a few dozen visitors on the little heath? Those 2 figures do not add up with the space available. Then we have the "thousands of visitors" crossing Northwich Road throughout the day (especially at rush hour), erm Health and Safety anyone. Then the farce of what will be hundreds of cars stuck in the mud on the Heath - as I'm certain Eno from North West Tonight weather will predict it will rain in November and December, and imagine the pictures in the national press of said stuck cars really "enhancing" the "reputation" of Knutsford. Also has anyone considered that Manchester Christmas Markets will be on the same dates - and where will most traders want to be, Manchester with greater footfall and the fact that their stalls will not be sinking in the mud. In short whoever has come up with this proposal either knows nothing about business, the actual location or both mostynthecat
  • Score: 1

8:41pm Thu 20 Mar 14

NEW BROOM says...

Christmas time is going to be more exciting in Knutsford, I am looking forward to the market, what a great way to ues the heath, it should be used more or changed into a car park, the council could do with the revenue, surely not everyone in Knutsford is against the market, lets have a petition to support it, born and bred Knutsfordian
Christmas time is going to be more exciting in Knutsford, I am looking forward to the market, what a great way to ues the heath, it should be used more or changed into a car park, the council could do with the revenue, surely not everyone in Knutsford is against the market, lets have a petition to support it, born and bred Knutsfordian NEW BROOM
  • Score: -2

9:54pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Cesana says...

New Broom will be needing his/her broom to fly over the traffic jams… and the council doesn't own the Heath and won't earn a penny.
New Broom will be needing his/her broom to fly over the traffic jams… and the council doesn't own the Heath and won't earn a penny. Cesana
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree