Free parking on key shopping days in the run up to Christmas is being rolled out again in Hartlepool town centre by council chiefs.
Shoppers will be able to park for free in Hartlepool town centre on the four Saturdays before Christmas Day starting this weekend.
It is the fifth year in a row that Hartlepool Borough Council, which operates the car parks, has waived the charges to encourage people to shop locally and save them money.
The free parking will apply to all town centre car parks, the Transport Interchange, Mill House Leisure Centre and on-street parking in the Church Street area.
Councillor Dave Hunter, chair of the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “The free Saturday parking offer has proved very popular in previous years and we hope it is well received again.
“Lots of families are under pressure financially and this is one way that the council can offer them a little bit of support.”
The dates of the free parking are Saturday, December 2, December 9, December 16 and December 23.
Coun Kevin Cranney, chair of the authority’s Regeneration Services Committee, added: “While the council faces its own severe financial pressures due to on-going Government cuts, we want to do everything we possibly can to support local businesses.
“Car parking charges are a factor in people deciding where to do their Christmas shopping and we hope the decision to waive charges on these four Saturdays will encourage more residents and people from outside the town to come into Hartlepool town centre.”
The town’s multi-storey car park which is normally closed on Sundays will also be open every Sunday throughout December.
Parking in council town centre car parks will also stay open until 7.30pm instead of 6pm in conjunction with late opening at Middleton Grange shopping centre.
Earlier this year, the council extended free car parking in selected Middleton Grange car parks .
It was made free after 3pm instead of 4pm from April in an effort to encourage parents and carers to visit after school.
The offer applies to the multi-storey, basement and H&M car parks.