A new facility in Kilbirnie Library, which allows free access to equipment to repair, reuse, and upcycle everyday items, officially opened on Friday.

As part of a trailblazing project funded by the John Lewis Circular Future Fund, public libraries in key areas across the country will lead the way in developing a long-term model for circular economy activities, while helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Nine library partners across Scotland have been selected to host a ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ as part of the pilot project managed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).  

Scottish Government culture minister Christina McKelvie said: “Our libraries are at the heart of our communities and the first of the pilot ‘Lend and Mend Hubs’ will further enhance the services they provide locally.

“Giving people free access to repair or recycle everyday items reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to sustainability and will be an invaluable resource in the current cost of living crisis.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Lend and Mend Hub in Kilbirnie Library

Councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for communities and islands, commented: “It is a tremendous honour for North Ayrshire Libraries to be involved in the Lend and Mend Hub pilot.

“Library staff at Kilbirnie Library are looking forward to getting involved to do their part to tackle the climate emergency, reduce waste and provide a chance for residents to make connections and cut costs during the cost-of-living crisis."

The first workshop was held on Friday from 10am-12pm  at Kilbirnie Library’s Make and Mend Hub.

Cllr Hill added: “The format was a sewing workshop with local social enterprise, Creative Recycling Ltd. The team taught library members attending some basic sewing machine skills to make some upcycled products out of clothes, bedding and other textiles that would have otherwise gone straight to landfill.

“If you would be interested in taking part, please call 01505 684218 to register as places are limited.”

Stay tuned to North Ayrshire Libraries Facebook page @NorthAyrshireLibraries for more updates on the pilot.

North Ayrshire Council is committed to achieving net-zero carbon status by 2030. This pilot will contribute to the council’s overall Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy – more information on what the council is doing to cut carbon can be found here: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy (north-ayrshire.gov.uk)

Each library hub will also introduce an education programme to support new skills development, helping to reduce inequality through equitable access to resources.   The first focus will be on ‘mending’, with a series of sewing workshops and repair cafes already underway at some locations.

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC, said: “It’s great to see our ‘Lend and Mend Hubs’ take shape in what is an exciting chapter for our libraries.

"Building on their current offering, our services are transforming and thriving in line with community needs, giving people access to resources they might not otherwise have to support responsible consumption and learning, locally and free. 

“And at a time when all of Scotland’s communities are experiencing economic and environmental challenges, the role of public libraries has never been more important."

To find out more, visit ScottishLibraries.org and follow the development at Facebook.com/LendandMend.