Perth council chiefs have struck a £1.5 million deal for a radical overhaul of city centre parking.
Major improvements will be made to the “outmoded” Canal Street multi-storey in an effort to drive more trade into the city.
Perth and Kinross Council has now signed an agreement with Glasgow-based construction firm Diack and Macaulay to carry out the work.
A date has yet to be set for the 14-week project, but the local authority is keen to avoid the busy summer season and the run-up to Christmas.
The work will involve bringing back into use two floors which have been sealed off for some time.
Lighting, security, access for disabled motorists and facilities for electronic cars will also be upgraded.
Plans were revealed earlier this year, just weeks before the collapse of department store McEwens of Perth triggered fresh calls for city centre improvements.
A council spokeswoman said: “The car park was built in the late 1980s and consists of 439 car spaces spread across nine levels.
“The car park is open 24 hours every day with staff present Monday to Saturday, during working hours and external security in place over night.”
“Currently, the two upper levels are closed due to the condition of the parking surfacing. The refurbishment aims to improve the customer’s access, usage and appeal to improve the overall utilisation of the car park.”
City centre councillor Archie MacLellan praised the project and said it would make a “huge difference” to city centre shopping.
“I very much welcome this programme,” he said. “This will see a huge range of improvements including widening of parking bays to cope with modern cars.
“Maybe most importantly, a pay-on-exit system will be installed which will be a great benefit for people visiting the city. At the moment, people have to pay money in advance, and sometimes you don’t know how long you’re going to be.
“Parking is a major issue in the city and the aim is to make it easier for people to come and shop in the city centre.”
In his report to councillors, traffic and network manager Charles Haggart highlighted several problems with the Canal Street set-up.
These included “dangerous” ramp surfaces and exit points which were “narrow, worn and outdated”.
“Despite the car park being open at all times, it is perceived as being outmoded and unattractive by customers,” he said.
The move comes just days after council officers approved separate plans by High Street retailer Watsons of Perth to create a new facility with 29 spaces.