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‘We’ve got this!’: Council to pick up tab for Christmas car parking

Initiative will cover four Saturdays in run-up to Christmas Day

Free parking is again to be offered to motorists visiting city and town centres in Co Armagh this Christmas.

Over the course of four Saturdays, festive shoppers will be quids in once again as the free parking offer is repeated.

The decision to run the campaign in 2017 got the backing of the council’s economic development and regeneration committee this week.

It still requires to be ratified at the statutory meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council later this month, but that is expected to be a mere formality.

There are 18 paid car parks in the ABC borough and all but one of these – which is managed by an external operator – are under council control.

Councillors agreed to back the free parking proposal after considering a report which states: “The council is committed to driving the regeneration and economic wellbeing of the traditional city/town centres across the borough and the Christmas trading period provides retailers with a significant opportunity to increase annual turnover within a finite period of time.

“It is therefore important that we support initiatives that make our city/town centres as attractive as possible to Christmas shoppers.

“It is also important that we ensure our city/town centres remain competitive during this opportune trading period, considering many other council areas and towns also offer similar parking initiatives to entice consumers.”

Councillors agreed to the recommendation, which will cost a total of £20,000 to deliver and for which budget is available.

The free parking will apply to Armagh City, as well as Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown town centres.

It will include the four Saturday’s leading up to Christmas – December 2, 9, 16 and 23.

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