Sixty new free long-stay parking spaces have been created in Alnwick.
They are at the former Duchess’s Community High School site on Howling Lane.
The potential use of the site for car parking was included in the parking action plan for the town, agreed between Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council last year following a study of parking arrangements and public consultation over potential improvements.
There was also positive feedback from residents at a community engagement event, organised by Alnwick Forum.
The site, resurfaced by the county council as part of the trial scheme, will open at 9am on Saturday.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at the county council, said: “We know parking can be an issue at many of our towns and we are always looking for opportunities to make the best use of our sites and create more spaces.
“Extra long-stay parking will be invaluable for the town, especially as we’ve managed to get it ready ahead of the busy tourist season when thousands of extra visitors come to the area.
“We will monitor how the site is used over the busy spring and summer period, before making a decision on whether to redevelop part of the site to provide additional long stay parking capacity on a permanent basis.”
Alnwick county councillors and Forum members Gordon Castle and Robbie Moore said: “Changes to town centre parking to increase turnover of spaces for visitors clearly had an adverse impact on longer stay parking for shop and office workers.
“Following the concerns expressed, both online and at the drop in session last November, I am very pleased that we have been able to put this site into use so quickly and I thank officers for the speed of their work.
“It is only a five minute walk into town from here and signage has been put in place. We will see how it works through summer before deciding whether or not we need to make it a permanent parking area.”
Mayor of Alnwick Alan Symmonds welcomed the extra car parking.
He said: “These additional spaces should really assist the town over the summer months, I hope the trial will be successful.”