BUSINESSES have voiced concern over the rising number of empty buildings in Knutsford.

Their concerns were raised at the fifth meeting of Knutsford retailers group Knutsford One.

A report to Knutsford Town Council by town centre manager Sandra Curties said: “The meeting was well attended despite the weather, and concern was raised regarding the future of the Makers Market, the increasing number of empty buildings and unrealistic rents.”

Sandra is looking to the retailers group to take forward the Knutsford Fashion Walks and Knutsfest ideas.

Sandra has met with Carole Mullineux from Tatton Park to discuss progressing a coach-friendly town initiative.

A report said: “Carole stressed that Tatton Park was very keen to work with the town council on this initiative, using the park as a coach park after coach companies dropped passengers at the bus station for shopping in the town or a half-day shopping and half-day at Tatton Park.”

Sandra is pushing for the introduction of a shuttle bus between the town and the Knutsford Pub in the Park site at The Lambing Shed, as this would bring people into town, especially between the festival’s afternoon and evening sessions.

Cllr Andrew Malloy and Sandra have met with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) to discuss the installation of a new sub-station in Knutsford town centre.

SPEN’s preferred location for the sub-station is the King Street car park toilets. Cllr Malloy had asked them to consider alternative locations, with minimal disruption to the town centre, and to report back.

Cllr Malloy and the town centre manager attended a meeting with Tatton Estates.

A report said the topics discussed included Tatton Estates’ wish to use the potential of the Heath, working more closely with the community, especially The Welcome and Hampers of Hope, pollution concerns, especially in Manchester Road, and producing a video showcasing the town centre.

The town centre manager also spoke at the meeting of the need to work more closely with landlords in identifying suitable businesses in the town for empty premises, and the possibility of pop-up shops and community events in long-term empty buildings.