Horncastle businesses asked to join car park project

All pay - a motorist uses the pay and display car park in St Lawrence Street which would feature in the new 'cash  back' scheme - provided there is enough support from the town's business community
All pay - a motorist uses the pay and display car park in St Lawrence Street which would feature in the new 'cash back' scheme - provided there is enough support from the town's business community

Businesses in Horncastle are being contacted to ask if they will support a new car parking scheme designed to boost the number of visitors.

The town’s Federation of Small Businesses is pressing ahead with plans to introduce a ‘cash-back’ style of parking.

Essentially, anyone who uses the St Lawrence Street car park will get two tickets - one to display on their vehicles and the other which can be used for a refund at shops which sign up to the scheme.

Under the proposals, shoppers would receive a £1 refund for every £10 spent in a shop - and £50p for £5.

Individual businesses would be responsible for the refunds.

A spokesman for the Federation said the project would only go ahead if there was enough support.

She said: “We will be contacting all businesses in the town to see whether they would support the idea.

“We are not staying this would be the complete answer.

“At least, we are trying to do something positive - rather than just moan and groan about parking charges which often present a very negative image of the town and actually deter visitors.”

She added that the Federation had held talks with East Lindsey District Council which is responsible for town centre car parks.

She said the authority had expressed support, but stressed the scheme would only go ahead if enough businesses agreed to join.

She added: “If just two or three businesses sign up, then there’s obviously no point proceeding with the idea.

“But if a few more come forward, then we might be on to something.

“I think there is general agreement that we need to boost footfall in Horncastle - and that would only be good for local businesses.”

There have been calls for ELDC to either cut or scrap parking charges completely in a bid to boost trade but to date, the authority has stood firm.