A new ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ has opened at the AK Bell Library in Perth, providing free access to equipment and resources for repairing, reusing, and upcycling textiles. This initiative is part of a pioneering project funded by the John Lewis Circular Future Fund, which aims to promote circular economy practices and support communities during the cost-of-living crisis.
The AK Bell Library is one of only nine library partners across Scotland selected to host a ‘Lend and Mend Hub’, as part of the pilot project managed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). These hubs are designed to provide a welcoming and supportive environment where individuals can learn new skills, extend the lifespan of their belongings, and reduce waste.
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.”
The Lend and Mend Hub is equipped with a variety of tools and equipment, including sewing machines, an embroidery machine, cutting mats, and a haberdashery store. The hub will also offer a set of workshops starting in January to teach people basic sewing machine skills.
Before accessing the Hub, users will be required to attend a short induction at the AK Bell Library. You can book your induction at the library by contacting the library at [email protected] or phoning 01738 444949.
Selected for their wide geographical spread and diverse community reach, the partner libraries listed below will make up a ‘network’ of sustainable, circular hubs situated across Scotland:
- A K Bell Library, Perth
- Aberdeen Central Library, Aberdeen
- Forfar Library, Angus
- Girvan Library, South Ayrshire
- Gorebridge Library, Midlothian
- Kilbirnie Library, North Ayrshire
- Orkney Library & Archive, Orkney
- South West Library, Inverclyde
- Wester Hailes Library, Edinburgh
To learn more about the Lend and Mend Hub at the AK Bell Library, please visit www.culturepk.org.uk/lendandmend
“We are excited to launch the Lend and Mend Hub at the AK Bell Library,” said Kirsty Brown, Learning and Engagement Manager with Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries. “This initiative is a valuable addition to our community, providing resources and support for those who want to repair, reuse, and upcycle items. We believe that this hub will not only help people save money but also foster a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to consumption.”
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.”