Shoppers will be able to park for free in Stafford and Stone town centre this Saturday.
It is the first of two afternoons where motorists will not have to pay to park on most council-run car parks in both towns.
The traditional free parking offer aims to encourage more people to shop in town centres to boost trade for local businesses over the festive season.
Parking charges have been waived for Stafford Borough Council car parks from 1pm this Saturday (11 December) and from the same time the following week (18 December.) The free period applies to all borough council run car parks - except the Riverside and Waterfront car parks in Stafford.
As well as shopping and eating out venues, Victoria Park in Stafford has been transformed into a winter wonderland - with an ice rink, live music and Santa’s’ grotto just some of the attractions taking place.
Other highlights this Saturday (11th) include Christmas Past, with a visit from Santa and craft sessions at the Ancient High House in Stafford, and a Festive Farmer's Market in the town’s Market Square.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “These traditional free parking afternoons have always proved popular with shoppers and retailers in the run up to Christmas Day. And this year we will have the added attraction of some great entertainment in our award-winning Victoria Park – all the more reason to come to the county town.
“We know that Stone is recognised far and wide as the food and drink capital of the county and is always an attractive place to carry out some shopping then relax with something to eat and drink.”
She added: “More than ever before our businesses need a boost after another very challenging year for them and I hope people will support their local traders.”
Mary Walker, Chair of Stafford Town Centre Partnership, said: “These are key dates for our retailers and I am very pleased that we can offer free parking to attract people into the town.
“It has been another extremely difficult year for many of our members – many are still trying to build up businesses that were hit by previous restrictions to combat covid-19. They need the support of local people to help them continue trading and hopefully thrive. The festive period is such a crucial time for many of them.”
A list of Stafford Borough Council run car parks can be found be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/parking.
More information on where and how you can use cash-free parking is available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/cash-free-parking.
Press Release No: 5839