Forfar Library part of trailblazing scheme to help tackle cost of living

Forfar Library is taking on a new community role as part of a unique project to help people through the cost of living crisis.
Pictured are, Kirsty Sutherland (left) and Victoria McQuillan, project delivery officer for the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC), who cut the ribbon to open the facility.Pictured are, Kirsty Sutherland (left) and Victoria McQuillan, project delivery officer for the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC), who cut the ribbon to open the facility.
Pictured are, Kirsty Sutherland (left) and Victoria McQuillan, project delivery officer for the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC), who cut the ribbon to open the facility.

A new dedicated facility has opened at the West High Street library which allows free access to equipment to repair, reuse, and upcycle everyday items.

The scheme is being funded by the John Lewis Circular Future Fund and supports public libraries in key areas across the country to help develop a long-term model for circular economy activities.

Nine libraries 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).

Kirsty Sutherland, ANGUSalive’s Libraries team leader said: “We are absolutely thrilled to open our very own Lend and Mend Hub here in Forfar.

"We are very proud of the service that we offer our community and this is very much a welcome addition to it. We hope our members are as excited about the Hub opening as we are.”

Taking a co-design approach, the hubs have been developed with insight and expertise from local teams as well as library members to ensure that services are tailored to meet individual communites’ needs.

Selected for their wide geographical spread and diverse community reach, Forfar along with the eight other partner libraries, which range from South Ayrshire to Orkney, will make up a ‘network’ of sustainable, circular hubs across the country.

Funding granted from The John Lewis Partnership’s £1m Circular Future Fund has been used for the equipment, training and space upgrades needed to deliver the projects.

Following their launch, 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.

To find out more, visit ScottishLibraries.org, www.angusalive.scot and follow the hub’s development at Facebook.com/LendandMend.

Christina McKelvie, Scottish Government Culture Minister, 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.”

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.

“The introduction of this network has the potential to create a real impact. Receiving over 40 million visits every year, the Scottish public are familiar with borrowing from libraries, but don’t always have the opportunity to extend this circular thinking to other aspects of their lives, for example how they use household goods and clothing.

“We hope this pilot will help develop a long-term model for libraries to be a hub of circular economy activities, while also providing valuable learnings to promote the urgent need to adopt a more circular way of living more widely for the long-term benefit of us all.”

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