MORE than 2,000 council car parking spaces are becoming free in the run up to Christmas.

The Sunderland City Council scheme will run after 3pm, Monday to Friday between 11 – 15 December and 18- 22 December 2017 and for the first time parking will be free all day on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 December.

It applies to ALL council car parks such as St Mary’s, Sunniside and the Civic Centre, with normal charges applying before 3pm on weekdays and on Sundays.

Park Free After 3pm will also continue to run every Thursday throughout the year.

Councillor Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “This new and improved Christmas parking offer is a fantastic opportunity to encourage more people into the city centre to do their Christmas shopping and support local traders.

“We are seeing significant regeneration in the city centre which should lead to increased footfall. We hope that the additional free parking on the two Saturdays before Christmas and after 3pm during the week will be a great incentive for people to explore the attractions the city centre has, whether it’s shopping or Christmas activities such as the market or ice-rink, food and drink, or museums, exhibitions, and shows.”

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID said: “We are aware that parking is often a huge issue for shoppers so this is great news and an added incentive for people to come into the city centre to do their Christmas shopping.”

For full details of all of the car parks included, please visit