First Scottish lend and mend hub launched

A FIRST of its kind community facility helping people to repair and reuse clothes, textiles and other goods has launched in Inverclyde.

The Lend and Mend Hub has opened in Greenock’s South West Library as part of a pioneering new initiative being delivered by Inverclyde Council’s libraries service in partnership with the Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC) and funded through the £1 million John Lewis Circular Fund.

It is one of nine facilities being set up across Scotland but is the first to be launched.

The Lend and Mend Hub will allow residents across Inverclyde to access the resources they need to repair, reuse, rent and upcycle everyday items free of charge to help with the cost of living crisis and tackle the climate emergency by cutting down on waste.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “Our libraries service works closely with SLIC and other partners to push the boundaries of what libraries can offer and this is another fantastic addition to the quality books, computer and internet access, and a variety of classes and events for all ages that are already on offer at branches throughout Inverclyde. 

Lend and Mend Hub launch South West Library Greenock
Lend and Mend Hub launch at South West Library, Greenock.

“Traditionally, repairing clothes and other household goods was commonplace for most local households and many residents will still remember their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles digging out the sewing kit to fix a pair of trousers or learning how to change a fuse.

“Sadly, many of those practices went out of fashion over the years as buying new became more affordable and a lot more convenient for the mass market. 

“But with people now feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis and as a society being more informed about the environmental emergency affecting our planet, we are seeing a huge rise in people looking to repair, reuse and upcycle and it’s great to see that being encouraged through initiatives like Lend and Mend Hubs and I’m proud that Inverclyde leading the way in opening Scotland’s first one.”

Following a co-design approach, the hubs across Scotland 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.

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.

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.

Lend and Mend Hub launch at South West Library, Greenock. Libraries team leader Alison Nolan with pupils from Lady Alice Primary.
Lend and Mend Hub launch at South West Library, Greenock. Libraries team leader Alison Nolan with pupils from Lady Alice Primary.

“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.”

In Inverclyde, funding has been used to redecorate a space within South West Library where people can learn how to upcycle and gain new skills for free.

The hub itself features recycled and upcycled furniture.

Starting out with textiles, there will soon be beginners’ classes teaching things like basic sewing skills to help people repair and amend items before expanding into different areas.

The launch at South West Library saw some young crafters from nearby Lady Alice Primary school demonstrate their skills, there were demonstrations of hand-stitching on the back of a denim jacket and opportunities for guests to have a go, and simple sewing machine workshops. 

To find out more, visit and follow the developments at

For more information about Inverclyde Council’s libraries service, log on to and keep up to date about events and activities through the Inverclyde Libraries social media pages.