SHOPPERS will get a festive boost with free parking at council-operated car parks this Small Business Saturday.

Now in its eleventh year, the UK-wide event, which takes place on Saturday, December 2 aims to recognise small businesses and give them a boost in the run-up to Christmas.

With many independent businesses in the town centre, and towns and villages across the borough, there is plenty of choice to find the perfect gifts for this Christmas.

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Shoppers visiting Basingstoke on Small Business Saturday will benefit from free parking at council-operated car parks in the town centre for the day.

Free reusable Love Basingstoke tote bags will also be available for shoppers at participating businesses.

Some of the businesses already signed up include The Willis Museum, Whitchurch Silk Mill, Gabardine Bar, Olive Blossom Bridal in Overton and Kudos Living in Whitchurch.

Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Cllr Paul Harvey, said: “Small and independent businesses are an important part of what makes the borough’s shopping offer great, both in the town centre and in the heart of our towns and villages.

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“Although Small Business Saturday provides a great chance to celebrate our small and independent businesses for the day, it is so important that we do everything we can throughout the year to support them.

“I am so pleased that we are able to help them by offering shoppers in the town centre free parking throughout the day to boost their footfall in the run-up to Christmas, after such a difficult year for many.”

For those who would prefer to support businesses in the borough from the comfort of their own home, The Borough Basket is a handy online listings directory that allows people to search for local independent businesses. More information on this can be found at

More information about free parking at council-operated town centre car parks on Small Business Saturday can be found here.