Pioneering ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ launches in Gorebridge Library

Lend and Mend Hub launch

A new dedicated facility in Gorebridge Library, which allows free access to equipment to repair, reuse, and upcycle everyday items, officially opened today (Thursday 17 August). 

Help with the cost-of-living 

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. 

Scotland-wide initiative

Gorebridge is one of 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).  

Multiple benefits

Midlothian Council’s Leader Councillor Kelly Parry said: “This is an exciting initiative that will give local communities the tools, education and capability to reuse lots of everyday items that would otherwise get thrown away.

New skills and new people

“Please come along to meet new people and learn new crafts while helping the environment and saving you money.” 

Heart of communities

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. 

Free access to tools and skills

“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.”

Partner libraries

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

Local insights

Taking a co-design approach, the hubs have been developed with insight and expertise from local teams and library members to ensure services are tailored to community needs. 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 these promising projects.

Reducing inequalities

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.

Exciting chapter

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.  

Important role

“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.

40 million visits a year

“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. 

Lessons for the future

“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.”

More information

In the picture

In the picture from left to right are: Marion Kunderan Head of Programme at the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), Council Leader Councillor Kelly Parry, Chris Godfree-Morrell Midlothian Library Service Development Leader (Digital & Collections), Sarah Findlay Midlothian Libraries Development Officer, Victoria McQuillan Project Delivery Officer with the SLIC and Midlothian Council Customer Engagement Manager Annabel Cavaroli.


17 Aug 2023