Will new parking discounts get Leeds Kirkgate Market market thriving?

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Cut-price parking is being offered to Kirkgate Market shoppers from today in a bid to keep it thriving in the wake of the closure of the previous nearest car park and the start of potentially disruptive construction work on the nearby Victoria Gate development.

In a move revealed at last night’s full council meeting, people spending £5 at the market will be able to get a £2 discount on a two hour stay at the nearby NCP car park on New York Street. A new collect-by-car point has also been set up on George Street alongside the market.

The announcement came as a delegation from lobbying group the Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market (FOLKM) urged councillors to do more to encourage people to shop at the market, especially those on lower incomes. The group also raised concerns about negative impact on market traders from the newly begun construction work on the Victoria Gate shopping centre, and the closure of the former Union Street car park which forms part of the site.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport and economy, said: “We’ve put in place these offers to support traders and help shoppers.

“Despite the major development on the doorstep of the market, the market and traders are very much open for business.

“As well as many loyal customers, people will be supporting the market even if they visit a couple of times a week to spend a fiver.

“We’ll continue to work with traders to entice people to the market and promote all the available parking and travel options. With ongoing support, the market will be in an ideal position, following refurbishment, to benefit when Victoria Gate opens.”

He stressed there are over 1,800 parking spaces within a five minute walk of Kirkgate Market.

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