Free day’s parking in Magherafelt to attract visitors costs council £1,200

Magherafelt town centre
Magherafelt town centre

MAGHERAFELT District Council has agreed to pick up the bill for parking in the town centre on Saturday, December 7, to help attract trade.

It will cost the council £1,200 and it follows a proposal from Magherafelt Chamber of Commerce that free parking would help bring more visitors to the town.

Members heard that December 7 was chosen as it coincides with small business Saturday which is a UK wide initiative providing small businesses with the opportunity to promote themselves and generate trade.

‘Small Business Saturday’ is a grassroots campaign for small businesss of all kinds. They are planning special deals for customers, showcase events, joint marketing with local media and much more.

SDLP Councillor Kate Lagan was of the opinion that the Chamber of Commerce could get businesses in the town to each contribute £50 which “would go a long way towards this.”

She pointed out that businesses in Maghera had contributed half the money towards the Christmas lights in the town.

However her party colleague Councillor Jim Campbell was in favour of the proposal, and proposed that the council supported the Chamber of Commerce suggestion.

Ulster Unionist Councillor George Shiels also supported the proposal and expressed the hope that it would boost business.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McPeake was also supportive, pointing out that the council had helped Maghera traders. “We all need to do our bit,” he said.