Christmas shoppers will be given the gift of free parking in the town centre during the festive period.
Drivers are being reminded that there is free car parking in all town centre car parks on every weekend in December in the run-up to Christmas.
Shoppers already benefit from free parking on Sundays all-year round in town centre car parks but they will now also be able to park for free on Saturday December 5, 12, 19 and 26.
It is the third successive year the initiative has been introduced which also includes all car parks and on-street parking in the Church Street area, the Transport Interchange and Mill House Leisure Centre. The idea is designed to boost trade within the town centre, but also to ease the burden on shoppers at a time when many people are feeling the financial squeeze.
Councillor Marjorie James, chair of the Council’s Neighbourhood Services Policy Committee, said: “The Council recognises the hardship that many families are facing, so introducing free car parking on Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas is a way of offering a little help to people.”
Mark Rycraft, Centre Manager for Middleton Grange called it ‘fantastic news for the centre and shoppers.’
Motorists can also park free in many town centre car parks after 4pm as part of a similar initiative to encourage people to shop in Hartlepool.
Car parks will also remain open to coincide with late night opening in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. Shops will stay open until 7pm on December 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23.