A £4m car park had a model opening in Harrogate yesterday.

The new Jubilee multi-story car park has taken the place of its 1960's crumbling concrete predecessor on Oxford street.

For the first week the secure car park, with an impressive range of facilities, will be offering free parking.

To keep with the 1960's theme, but to highlight that it is a 21st Century shoppers' car park, the opening event was attended by a Twiggy lookalike fashion model.

Travelling in a 1960's Mini Cooper, she led a procession of cars from both the swinging decade and the present day.

The cars, ranging from a 1960's bubble car to a Mercedes Benz C220, drove through the town to the car park, where Michael Newby, cabinet member for public works at Harrogate Borough Council, lifted the barrier for the first time.

The car park closed for business in January and has reopened on time and on budget.

Councillor Newby said: "We did tell local businesses that we would do everything possible to reduce the impact on their trade by promising that the new car park would be built within about nine months - you can see by the dates that we have lived up to that promise.

"As recognition for the patience of those businesses and, of course, the general public, it has been agreed that there will be no charge for about the first week of the car park opening."

The car park includes 450 spaces on five levels, lifts to all floors, 24-hour toilets and baby changing facilities and a closed-circuit television scheme incorporating 29 cameras. It is open between 7am and midnight and cars can be left in the car park overnight at no extra cost