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Source: Scotland – City of Aberdeen

Seven of Aberdeen City Council’s city centre public car parks are to be free of charge at weekends in December as part of a huge effort to encourage people to #shoplocal this Christmas.

The off-street parking which is to be free for shoppers includes Chapel Street multi storey car park, Denburn multi storey car park, Frederick Street multi storey car park, the Marischal College multi storey car park off Queen Street, West North Street multi-storey car park, the above-ground Gallowgate car park, and the above-ground Summer Street/Huntly Street car park.

The council car parks will be free to use for shoppers on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 December, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, and Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.

Aberdeen City Council city centre spokesperson Councillor Marie Boulton said: “We have a big wealth and array of both national shopping retailers and food outlets along with fantastic local shops, cafes and restaurants which we are more than happy to support where we can.

“It is important that we support our local shops when buying presents rather than going online if we want to ensure that we retain shops in Aberdeen in the future.

“It’s great we can offer the free parking in council car parks for the weekends in December and I’m sure it will be welcomed by people across the city and wider region in what’s been a difficult year for many people.”

Due to coronavirus restrictions, many normal attractions such as Santa’s Parade could not be held this year however the city centre’s lights and Christmas trees are up and twinkling in the night sky and there are additional lighting features in the city centre this year too.

initiatives such as the Aberdeen Gift Card, the pop-up Haan market in Aberdeen Art Gallery, and the Indoor Market at Bon Accord Shopping Centre have also been launched to entice people to #shoplocal this Christmas.

Aberdeen Inspired chief executive Adrian Watson said: “We are delighted to have worked with Aberdeen City Council and businesses in successfully securing free parking at the council’s city centre car parks during the weekends of December.  

“This is a welcomed initiative from the council at a time when it is most needed. We hope that the north east public will take advantage of this gesture and come in and safely enjoy Aberdeen’s great retail and hospitality offering over the festive period. With extended shopping hours, the city is open for business seven days a week, where a warm welcome awaits.” 

Aberdeen Hospitality Together, a group which has been set up by the sector during coronavirus, also welcomed the free parking in council car parks.

Stuart McPhee, spokesman for Aberdeen Hospitality Together, said: “Any initiative that can help stimulate footfall into the city centre is indeed a very welcome move. Restaurants, cafes and bars across the city centre stand ready with covid-secure environments, well trained staff and a smile. This initiative further aids those who wish to visit a safe setting in which to socialise and gives them ability to meet with one other household in the run up to Christmas.” 

The free weekend parking in the six council car parks is part of work in a socio-economic rescue plan responding to the impact of Covid-19 which is being carried out by Aberdeen City Council and partners across the city.

Motorists are reminded to plan their journeys before they leave and please be patient when roads are busy with Christmas shopping.

MIL OSI United Kingdom