Independent traders in Banbury town centre are to give shoppers an early Christmas present by offering to help pay for their parking.
Pounds off Parking (POP) will be launched on Saturday, December 7 by members of Banbury’s Old Town Association.
Each time a customer spends £10 in a store displaying a POP poster, they will get £1 back towards the cost of parking when proving they have paid for a ticket. Barry Whitehouse, Old Town Association chairman and owner of The Artery art shop in White Lion Walk, said: “We want to encourage shoppers to our wonderful town not just at Christmas but all year round. We hope the POP scheme will bring people to Banbury so they can see what a great market town it is; full of independent shops and a great destination to shop, relax and eat.”
Fifteen shops have already signed up for the scheme, which will run throughout Christmas and into January. If successful, it could be kept going throughout the year. Businesses taking part include Fancy That, Cactus, Fashion Fabrics and Kt-Lu’s.
Mr Whitehouse said: “It’s our way of saying thank you to customers for supporting their independent businesses and shopping local. Once we learned Cherwell District Council wasn’t offering free parking, we felt we could do something to help our customers.”
The council approved free parking during the festive period for six weeks last year and it proved successful.
Since then members of the Old Town Association have been fighting for a similar decision this year to help town businesses.
The Old Town Association is a group of independent business owners in the town centre that organises events and looks at ways to promote Banbury.