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MORE than 1,100 parking spaces in Crewe Town Centre will be free of charge on Saturdays until Easter.

Cheshire East Council is lifting charges at all nine of its central Crewe car parks from 12pm on each Saturday between February 4 and April 15.

The incentive, thought up by the town centre working group, is part of a plan to back retailers and encourage more shoppers and visitors into the town.

The car parks included are Victoria Centre, Oak Street, Chester Street, Wrexham Terrace, Delamere Street, Civic Centre, Gatefield Street, Lyceum Square and Holly Bank totalling 1, 177 spaces.

Councillor Don Stockton, CEC cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We know that the post-Christmas period can be a difficult time for retailers and we’re keen to support them.

“We hope this incentive will increase the number of shoppers visiting the town centre on Saturdays and encourage them to spend more time in the shops and markets and at other attractions, such as the lifestyle centre and Lyceum Theatre.

“Although we already have car parks that are always free, such as Thomas Street, we hope that this incentive encourages those visiting Grand Junction Retail Park – once they have reached the maximum permitted parking time there – to visit the town centre and park for free in the afternoon.”

The free parking incentive will be monitored to see what impact it has on businesses and whether it increases footfall in the town.

He added: “In addition to this parking incentive, work is ongoing to improve the overall shopping environment of the town centre and a number of initiatives have already been undertaken, including a ‘deep clean’ of the pedestrianised area.”