AFTER a year of legal wrangles Knutsford Town Council is now in control of the town’s indoor market hall for the first time in 40 years.

The future of the site, on Silk Mill Street, has been in limbo ever since the town council decided it wanted to take on the asset from the borough authority.

A deal was agreed in October 2012 for the market hall – which operates on a Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, as well as the Farmers Market on the first Saturday of each month.

It was transferred for £1 with the borough authority also awarding the town council £20,000 to ensure a ‘smooth purchase transition’.

But the deal could not be ratified until last week with both councils’ solicitors working on the legal documents since July 2013.

However, the documents were finally sealed by Town Mayor Clr Neil Forbes and Deputy Town Mayor Clr Tony Dean on June 13 and the transfer has an expected completion date of June 30.

Clr Forbes said: “This is another historic moment as the running of the market returns to Knutsford for the first time since 1974 and I look forward to working with my fellow councillors to improve the facilities just like we did with the public toilets.”
Knutsford’s Market Hall fell under Cheshire East Council’s transfer of assets programme, which is in accordance with its Localism agenda.

It is the second Knutsford transfer to be completed under the programme – two toilet blocks came under Knutsford Town Council’s jurisdiction in July 2013.

Adam Keppel-Garner, town centre manager, said: “Knutsford Town Council will be able to undertake notable improvements to the markets, both indoor and outdoor.

“I am looking forward to working with traders to promote the market to the town and taking part in schemes such as Love your Local Market week. If any users of the market have suggestions for improvement I would encourage them to get in touch with me.”

Market traders were approached by the Guardian but declined to comment on the transfer.