KNUTSFORD’S popular Makers Market is to return to the town centre for the next three months.

The market was staged as a one-off event on the Heath on August 2, with 65 stalls, and was hailed a success by market organiser Vicky Crane.

After discussing the Heath market the town council’s Events Committee agreed on Monday to allow Makers Markets to be held in the town centre in September, October and November.

They are set to take place on the Waitrose and Silk Mill Street car parks to enable social distancing to take place, and there will be a maximum of 65 stalls.

Cllr Andrew Malloy said he visited the market at the Heath, and was pleased with the space available for social distancing.

One-way signs were in place, he said, which were followed by most people, there was hand sanitiser at regular intervals and 2,000 disposable masks were provided.

He said: “I generally felt safe and was impressed with how it went. For me the biggest factor for wanting the event to go ahead was to support our local traders.

“Walking round the town centre after being at the market there was a reasonable number of people around.”

Cllr James McCulloch said the atmosphere at the market felt ‘very flat’ compared with what it would normally be, although it was great to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine and the Heath.

He said: “My congratulations to the organisers – it wasn’t easy to put it on, and I’m glad it did happen, but we need to think again about the location for the next one.”

He proposed the markets take place for the next three months in the town centre car parks, stressing ‘we need to get the town centre moving.’ His proposal was backed by four votes to two.

Cllr Mike Houghton said: “It was good to get something back happening in the town, but in terms of driving footfall to the town centre in a safe way I’m not sure it achieved its objective.”

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said: “We’re now trying to create a new normal that enables us to have commercial activity.

“People are beginning to realise you’ve got to balance the risk of the virus and the risk to national and local economies.”

Cllr Elizabeth Beswick, who is a GP and voted against Cllr McCulloch’s proposal, said she was in Knutsford on Sunday, and it was very busy, although there was no market.

She said: “It’s foolish to go ahead with any markets at the moment – I have always been against having these during this coronavirus period.”