A number of city centre car parks in Aberdeen will be free to use at weekends next month as part of a council effort to encourage people to shop local ahead of Christmas.
Aberdeen City Council hopes the scheme will entice shoppers away from online stores and into the high street, despite the cancellation of attractions such as the Christmas Market on Broad Street and Santa’s Parade.
The participating car parks are the multi-storeys at Denburn, Chapel Street, Frederick Street, West North Street and Marischal College off Queen Street, as well as the above-ground car parks at Gallowgate and Summer Street/Huntly Street.
They will be free to use on the weekends of December 5/6, 12/13 and 19/20.
‘I’m sure it will be welcomed in a difficult year’
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.”
The council hopes the offer will complement other schemes, including the Aberdeen Gift Card, the pop-up Haan market in Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Indoor Market at Bon Accord Shopping Centre to bring shoppers into the city.
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.”
‘A very welcome move’
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.”