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PARKING BOOST FOR CITY CENTRE BUSINESSES

Two city centre car parks are to offer reduced-price parking for shoppers and visitors to Inverness City centre in the run up to Christmas.

Highland Council and Eastgate Centre Management have been working with Inverness BID and partners to provide a much needed boost for city centre businesses.

The Inverness Common Good Fund is encouraging increased city centre footfall through subsidising the cost of parking at Rose Street Car Park and Eastgate Shopping Centre is supporting the boost for businesses initiative by providing free and reduced parking on selected days.

Members of the Inverness City Area Committee Inverness Common Good Fund Working Group have approved a £8,119 grant to provide reduced parking cost at the Rose Street facility at weekends.

This special price for Saturday parking starts this weekend (24 October) and ends at the close of Boxing Day on Saturday 26 December. The discounted rate for Sunday parking starts from Sunday 6 December and runs to Sunday 20December.

Normal parking charges at Rose Street Car Park of £1.40 for 2 hours will be reduced to 20 pence. The reduction in charges is expected to attract additional shoppers to the city centre on the weekends and contribute to additional economic activity for businesses, particularly in the old town area of the city and the Victorian Market.

Provost and Leader of Inverness Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “We have listened to city centre businesses and understand the impact that has been felt by commerce in Inverness city centre over recent months. There has been prolonged disruption due to the flood alleviation works; and the fires at buildings on Academy Street and Eastgate. This may have had a detrimental impact on local businesses with some of them reporting a reduction in commercial activity.

“We hope that by providing this temporary reduction to parking charges over the festive period that it will attract shoppers to the excellent array of shops and services that the city centre, old town and Victorian Market have to offer and will help contribute to increased economic activity for city centre businesses.”

Jackie Cuddy, Eastgate Centre Manager said: “Eastgate Centre will be offering free car parking after 5pm on late night Thursdays starting on 26 November until Christmas Eve. We will also be offering all-day parking for £2 from 29 November until 20 December.”

BID Chairman, Craig Duncan said “We are delighted with the Provost’s proposals to encourage more shoppers into the city centre in the crucial Christmas period and thank her fellow councillors for their support of the Inverness Common Good Fund in this way. The car parking offer is such an important part of the marketing mix for the city centre”

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