AN iconic building steeped in history opened its doors to give people a chance to shape its future.

Knutsford Town Council is seeking views from the local community about 60 King Street, formerly Belle Epoque and recently known as Kings Coffee House.

The Grade II listed building is owned by the council and was home to the former restaurant for 46 years until 2019.

Previous attempts to find a new tenant were unsuccessful.

The council is now working on a major heritage fund bid to restore and regenerate the incredible building.

More than 80 residents were given a guided tour as part of an open consultation to suggest how new ideas could be developed in the future.

People had a chance to walk around the entire building and grounds.

Many visitors said they didn’t realise just how big the space is.

The building was the final creation of Richard Harding Watt and built in two halves opening in 1907 and 1908.

The whole building was gifted to the town council after his death in 1914.

Each tour ended with discussions on how the building could best serve the Knutsford community.

Knutsford Guardian: Residents discuss their ideas for the future of the former Belle Epoque restaurant on King StreetResidents discuss their ideas for the future of the former Belle Epoque restaurant on King Street

All the suggestions and comments made will be considered as the council develops a new plan for the space.

The council is particularly keen to ensure the residents of the Longridge and Shaw Heath area feed into the consultation and are holding a further consultation event on Tuesday, May 10, at 6pm in The Welcome which will feature a virtual guided tour of the building.

Town clerk Adam Keppel-Green, who led the tours, said: “The aim was to open the doors to a building we know not everyone has been able to fully explore before, showing the scale of the building and its multi-terraced outdoor space.

“We encourage all residents to complete the online survey to share their thoughts on how this magnificent space should be used in the future”.

So far almost 200 people have responded to a survey on the future of the building.

Residents can express their views for two more weeks in a survey at