As part of our continued commitment to ensuring the future of the Whitworth Centre a decision has been made that we need to charge for the privilege of parking at the centre. This has been a much debated over concept and a decision not reached lightly.
As custodians of the park and buildings we have to protect the heritage and the future of the centre for current and future generations. We are compelled to look at all cost centres in relation to securing funds to improve services and support amenities and activities. We have to invest in improvements in the car park from bay lining, drainage, secure entry, repairs and renewals, lighting and cctv while ensuring the service is not abused by non-Whitworth customers.
The system works through using an outside source to supply, install and monitor the car parking system. As you enter the car park your number plate is read and your entry time is logged, from that time you have 30 minutes free parking over that period there is a fee to pay, which is set at £1 for up to 4 hours or £2 all day, if you stay over the 30 minutes without payment or validation the system automatically issues the registered keeper with a fixed penalty of £100, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days, once this is issued we cannot influence the outcome.
A pay meter will be located in the rear terrace and main car park, you will have to enter your full registration number as well as pay the appropriate fee or use the phone and pay system provided.
Customers of the café can have their parking validated for FREE, by informing a member of the café team at the point of sale of their registration number within 30 minutes of entering the car park which validates for a 4 hour visit. Or if you have paid a fee a valid ticket can can you get a reduction of 70% off the parking fee on purchases in the café, so for example £1 ticket entitles the holder to 70p off café purchases, £2 ticket entitles the holder to £1.40 off. In real terms the fee for a full day parking can be as little as 60p per vehicle.
The Whitworth trust relies almost entirely on self-generating funding through catering and hosting events, with some support from the town and district council. The funds we generate from this will be reinvested into the charity to upgrade, improve, replace or add new services and facilities to benefit our customers.
The system will be installed and operational by the end of 2019, after we add height restricted entry to the main car park, which can be opened on request for access to high sided vehicles plus further investment in lining the rest of the car park creating a further 67 bays.