Green MSP Ross Greer has welcomed a Scottish Government announcement that £40,000 has been allocated to libraries in Renfrewshire to tackle social isolation and other problems affecting deprived areas.

The funding will be used to tackle loneliness and digital exclusion, promoting mental wellbeing and reengaging the community with libraries post-COVID, working with a range of local cultural organisations.

This announcement is part of over £1 million being spent on twenty three library projects across Scotland. The projects are aimed at helping libraries to reopen and encouraging local communities to make use of them after a long period during which the pandemic forced their closure.

MSP Ross Greer said: “Libraries are a lifeline for many people across Renfrewshire but most have been struggling to regain momentum and get people back through the doors after a long period of closures and restrictions.

“Loneliness has been a growing problem during this same period and local libraries have a really important role to play in tackling that, helping people to access the support and social contact they really need.

“This funding announcement is fantastic news for Renfrewshire and the twenty two other areas which will benefit. Local communities will now see a range of activities supporting literacy and strengthening mental health. This is exactly the kind of project to prioritise as we recover from the pandemic.”

The Public Library COVID Relief Fund was announced as part of the Programme for Government and all local authority library services were able to apply for funding.

East Renfrewshire was awarded £30,000. A library project officer will be appointed to focus on outreach work in the Barrhead area in partnership with key partners and will seek to re-engage the community.