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Medway Council offers free bus trips to encourage people to shop local this Christmas

Christmas shoppers are being offered free bus travel as part of a drive to support independent businesses.

Small Business Saturday this weekend aims to support local shops, bars, restaurants and other business ventures across Medway in the festive season.

Rochester High Street. Picture: Alex Watson
Rochester High Street. Picture: Alex Watson

With the Towns home to more than 14,000 companies, there’s enough here to help tick off almost any Christmas shopping list – and as more than 90% are small businesses it means you can give straight back into the local economy.

Medway Council has secured government funding to provide free bus travel in and around the Towns on Saturday, 9 and Sunday, December 10 (up to 8 pm), which includes single journeys on any Medway bus operator.

The following weekend the council is offering two free days of parking across all of the car parks it owns. This will take place on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, December 17.

Cllr Lauren Edwards, portfolio holder for economic and social regeneration and inward investment, said: “These are challenging times for everyone, but while the council is facing its own financial challenges we’re still doing all we can to support residents and businesses.

“I’m pleased we’re waiving parking fees over one weekend in the run-up to Christmas, and hope people will take advantage to head into town, stock up on presents, and enjoy a festive day out.”

Cllr Lauren Edwards says the council is doing all it can to support local businesses
Cllr Lauren Edwards says the council is doing all it can to support local businesses

To find out more about Small Business Saturday visit SmallBusinessSaturdayuk.com. For information to support businesses in Medway visit www.medway.gov.uk/business

Simona Marr, regional development manager at Federation of Small Businesses said: “Our high streets from Rochester to Rainham would be much duller places without the sparkle added by local, independent firms. For shoppers looking for great value, personal service, and unique items all year round, independent shops on high streets can offer it all.

Rochester is also hosting its biggest ever Christmas market, which launched on Saturday, November 25 in the grounds of Rochester Castle, and will run over three weekends.

There’s also the Children’s Christmas Village, while next weekend will see the high street transformed for the Dickensian Christmas Festival, on Saturday, 2 and Sunday, December 3.

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