THE new operator of a Bournemouth town centre car park is offering free parking for three weeks to mark Covid “freedom day”.
Britannia Parking has taken over the running of the car park in the BH2 leisure complex from NCP.
The first three hours of parking will be free as of Monday, July 19, with a £3 charge after that to park all day.
Britannia Parking chief executive Brian Parker said: “These have been tough times for everyone.
“Working closely in partnership with Legal & General, BH2’s owners, we all agreed that we need to celebrate the lifting of Covid restrictions and mark the new management of the BH2 car park.
“With our offer we can support the local community with free parking and help retailers and businesses by attracting more people into the town centre to boost trade and breathe fresh life into its streets.”
When it was run by NCP, an hour’s parking at BH2 on Exeter Crescent cost £3, three hours cost £5 and all-day parking was £25.
The new Free For Three offer runs until Sunday, August 8, for all motorists, whether or not they are using the restaurants and cinema at BH2.
It will be followed by a new pricing structure which Britannia says will include special offers to keep shoppers, visitors and commuters coming into the town centre.
Entrepreneur Mark Cribb, owner of the Urban Guild with venues including the Urban Garden restaurant is in Lower Gardens, said: “We’re excited about what the future holds after lockdown lifts.
“This superb gesture is perfectly timed to help get the buzz back into Bournemouth and restore the feelgood factor for which the town centre is so well known.”
Ian Girling, chief executive of Dorset Chamber, said: “Safe, secure and reasonably priced car parking is pivotal to the regeneration and success of our town centres.
“BH2’s free parking pledge is to be applauded and acts as a call to arms for our residents and businesses to really pull together for Bournemouth, its community and the local economy.”
Paul Kinvig, chief operating officer of Bournemouth Town Centre BID, said: “This is great news and it is very welcome to see Britannia Parking as a local company become involved in the town centre.
“The offer for the BH2 car park will be a real boost in encouraging more people to return to the town centre and enjoy all it has to offer.”