Using Private Car Parks

In some town centres where private businesses have car parking facilities that are under used or lie empty at times (e.g. an office complex that doesn’t use its car park in the evenings or weekends), these spaces have been ‘borrowed’.

An example is an arrangement between the Swizzels Matlow sweet factory in New Mills, Derbyshire and the 500 seat Art Theatre next door. Patrons of the theatre use the empty factory car park when it's closed, while Swizzels Matlow is acknowledged as a valuable sponsor in kind in the theatre foyer and programmes, gaining great PR from the arrangement.

This sort of arrangement might be ongoing, or just for special events or particularly busy times including Bank Holidays. The arrangement can be simple as in the example above,or a formal commercial arrangement whereby the owner of the space gains an income through making it available. There may be costs involved like adding an extra bus stop, or signage. If you think this idea might have value for your high street, approach the business with the space and see if there is scope for a mutually beneficial agreement.