Shoppers and visitors to Ashby-de-la-Zouch will have 52 new car parking spaces available to them this week as the extension to North Street car park is completed – seven weeks earlier than planned.
The extra car parking has been funded by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) as part of the its £1.1 million contribution to the Ashby Neighbourhood Plan, and will open at 1pm on Friday 25 May.
The extra spaces will help address the need for additional parking in the town, handing a boost to its retail, leisure and cultural offerings.
As part of the project the iconic Hood Park gates, which were overlooked in their original position at the entrance to the leisure centre car park, have been restored and renovated to become a feature of the new parking area.
The wider plan for the town, created by Ashby Town Council on behalf of its community, aims to improve the historic market town’s culture and leisure offer and celebrate the wealth of attractions it is home to, including the popular leisure centre with its unique lido, museum, The Venture Theatre and various green spaces.
Work began on the site in November with the demolition of the former health centre. The same parking charges will apply to the extended car park as in the existing area of North Street car park.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The completion of the car park is great news for businesses, shoppers and visitors alike and provides much-needed extra spaces for the town. It is essential people feel that our town centres are accessible and convenient so that they keep coming back, and these new spaces will help achieve this. A market town lives or dies by having the right amount of parking, and this opportunity to provide a meaningful amount of additional parking in the right place in Ashby.”
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services for North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “Ashby is a vibrant and exciting town to visit and it’s important that people are not deterred by a lack of parking spaces. Redesigning this part of the town, with the addition of these new spaces will help solve this problem and encourage both shoppers and tourists to come and see our beautiful town.”
Councillor John Coxon, Leader of Ashby Town Council, said: “The new parking is great for Ashby and provides the infrastructure we need to meet our ambitions for the town going forward. We want to increase the vibrancy of our town, make it more accessible and support the businesses based here, and this new parking will go a long way to ensuring all of this happens.”