Independent retailers and Shrewsbury’s two principal shopping centres have reported a significant increase in sales and footfall on Sunday 25th May.

Following the launch of free all-day parking, footfall at the Darwin Centre and Pride Hill rose by 35% and 34% respectively, on last year’s figures.

Noticing an increase in trade, Mark Lomas from Pockets in Market Square said: “Sunday was such a great day for traders, there was a real buzz in town and so many people were out enjoying their weekend in Shrewsbury. For us it was a fantastic day and we look forward to seeing more activity to support town centre businesses in the future.”

A big contributing factor to the increased footfall, both in the centres and across the town, were spectators of the Shrewsbury Cycle Grand Prix which added a festival atmosphere, with people lining the streets and enjoying the event which attracted 132 cyclists.

Shrewsbury BID and Shropshire Council are responsible for the new parking initiative which has been introduced to support local traders and welcome visitors and shoppers to enjoy the array of attractions, independent retailers and food and drink specialists in the town.

As well as other projects currently being developed by the BID and Shropshire Council, the scheme will see free all-day parking in the town next Bank Holiday, which falls on Sunday 24th August. This will be available in Shropshire Council’s off-street car parks in Shrewsbury town centre and most of the privately run car parks.

Also benefiting from the initiative was Paul Howl from Green Ginger, based in the Pride Hill Shopping Centre, who said: “We were really pleased by the number of people both in the shopping centre and around town. Customers gave us some very positive feedback about the car parking deal and it encouraged them to spend all day in Shrewsbury without thinking about parking costs.”