KNUTSFORD'S ‘hugely successful’ Makers Market is here to stay and will not be moving from Princess Street.

That is the unequivocal message from Knutsford Town Council in relation to the monthly artisan market, which the council says is a key component in its economic strategy for the town.

The council’s declaration of support for the market, which runs from 11am to 4pm, follows a call for it to be moved to the Princess Street car park behind Waitrose.

The call comes from Richard Cussons of KPS Management, which manages property in the town centre, who said town centre residents were concerned about access for emergency services when the market was on.

Recent letters in the Guardian echoed Mr Cussons’ concerns, which have also sparked public support from town businesses, who attended a town council meeting to show their backing for the monthly event.

Cllr Mike Houghton, chairman of the council’s Events and Town Centre Management Committee, said: “With reference to the recent press coverage regarding the monthly Makers Market, and in response to the wave of support we have received for the event, we would like to reassure retailers, residents and patrons that the town council has no intention of shutting down the market nor moving it from its current location.

Knutsford Guardian:

Knutsford Makers Market

“The market represents a key element of the council’s strategy to support the economic growth of the town centre.

“It is a hugely successful event, generating significant incremental trade to the town centre, both on the day and beyond, and provides much enjoyment to the many people who go along – Knutsfordians and visitors to the town – every month.”

He said while the council remained sympathetic to any concerns regarding the market and its location, it received very few complaints over this.

He added: “In April we sent a letter to all town centre residents to canvas opinions and any opposition, and received no responses.

“A similar communication with town centre businesses returned 15 written responses, all in favour of the market continuing in its current format.

“Access for emergency vehicles has been assessed by the relevant agencies, and the event deemed safe.

“In response to the suggestion that the Makers Market could move to an alternative location, an extensive evaluation was made on other sites in April, most notably Princess Street car park behind Waitrose and Tatton Street car park.

“Notwithstanding the loss of footfall adjacent to the retailers on Princess Street, and the fact that any change in the current set-up would require us to find additional parking for all the market traders on the day, neither location is a suitable option as, despite appearances, we could not accommodate many more than 50 stalls in either location – significantly down from the current 150.

“If any residents or businesses have genuine concerns we welcome direct correspondence to the council, but hope that any misrepresentation surrounding this issue can now be put to bed.”