Local shoppers are to benefit from a new car parking scheme which comes into effect this week.
Antrim is one of 25 towns to see a new car parking tariff of £1 for five hours’ parking.
The scheme is expected to last for up to six months.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said: “Local retailers across Northern Ireland have told me that they are continuing to operate in a challenging environment.
“That was one of the main reasons why I introduced a five hours parking for £1 over the Christmas and New Year period.
“The scheme was welcomed by traders and this extensive pilot project will inform my Department’s future policy. The five hours parking for £1 pilot tariff will support both the local economy and retailers in their efforts to encourage more shoppers back into towns and cities across Northern Ireland.”
The new tariff from April 12 will apply to car parks that have a tariff of 30p or more per hour. Drivers will still be able pay for normal tariffs under £1 in each car park and normal tariffs over five hours still apply.
Local councillors Drew Ritchie and Adrian Watson have welcomed the announcement.
“This is fantastic news that town centres are getting this boost; it’s great news for local businesses and great news for the public,” Ald. Ritchie said.
He added: “This is just the latest initiative from Danny Kennedy that is designed to both save the public money and attract more people into town centres.