Summer visitors to Spalding town centre will benefit from free parking and a range of measures in a bid to encourage them to spend time and money in the town.
From next Monday there will be spells of free parking at three of the council-owned car parks.
The initiative is the first in a number to be unveiled over the coming days by South Holland District Council in a move to support the town centre businesses.
It also announced on Tuesday that the South Holland Centre will be showing a programme of films at the end of July and there will be live entertainment and events in the town centre.
“This is another example of our council’s commitment to supporting the district’s town centres and encouraging people to return to them as we do our best to recover from the pandemic and restrictions that are only now reducing,” said Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for environmental services.
“I hope that many shoppers will use this opportunity to take the time to explore the variety of local and independent businesses and traders in Spalding and enjoy the excellent hospitality of one of our pubs,” said Coun Gambba-Jones.
The parking scheme will run until September 30 and is designed to allow enough time for people to go shopping, have something to eat and explore local attractions like Ayscoughfee Gardens.
There will be one hour free at The Sheep Market and four hours at Vine Street and Herring Lane.
Motorists will still need to display a ticket in their windscreen, but there will be no charge to get one. Fixed penalty notices will be issued to those vehicles not showing a valid ticket.
The council has received £86,000 as part of the Government’s Welcome Back Fund and administered almost £30m of financial assistance across the district.
“In the last few months we have already started to see businesses choosing to invest in our town centres.
“These new initiatives are part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that our town centres are a safe, clean and relevant place to work, shop and visit,” said council leader Gary Porter.
“We recognise the hardship and financial uncertainty that many of our businesses have felt over the past year. As well as the support we have given through the distribution of government grants, we now want to ensure we do everything we can to support businesses by encouraging shoppers back to our town centres and high streets,” he added.
There will be an extension of free market pitches across the district until October. The council will also be consulting on future initiatives for the market, including support for new traders and micro-businesses which want to try a stall.
Additional resources for cleaning and maintenance will also be allocated and students at Boston College will help businesses, traders and residents with their digital skills.
More details of further activities in the town will be revealed in the next few days on the council’s social media pages.