Christmas shoppers in Shrewsbury have been given a boost after council chiefs agreed to introduce free parking in the run-up to the festive period.
Shropshire Council will be opening up some of Shrewsbury’s car parks for free in time for late night shopping, while the indoor market will be open for business well past its traditional closing time.
Visitors will be able to park for free starting on Wednesday – the night of the town’s Christmas Cracker lights switch-on event.
On that day, and every Wednesday evening until Christmas, people can park for free in Frankwell Main car park, St Julian’s Friars car park and Abbey Foregate car park, from 4pm.
And it is not just the big stores that will be opening late in the run-up to Christmas. The market will be staying open into the evening for festive events.
On Wednesday gift stalls and cafes, ranging from Spanish tapas to Thai street food and Beijing pork dumplings, will open until 9pm with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies available to shoppers from 6pm to 8pm. Acoustic duo Redkix will perform live from 5.30pm to 6pm followed by singer-songwriter Sonya Smith from 6.30pm to 7pm.
On December 10, the market will host a special evening celebration to coincide with the annual Shrewsbury Winter Festival and will be open until 10pm. Artisan chocolatier Julia Viani will be staging a Narnia-themed chocolate tea party and there will be live music including DJ Buzzword, aka Josh Arrowsmith.
The market’s third late evening opening will be held on December 14 to coincide with the town’s ‘Carols in The Square’ event. Choirs will perform in the market and it will open until 9pm.
During Christmas week the market will open extra days, from 9am to 4pm, December 19 to 24.