North Ayrshire Council today became the the first local authority in the UK to offer free sanitary provision in all of its public buildings.

Females across North Ayrshire will be able to access a free supply of sanitary products in places such as libraries, community centres and public offices.

The groundbreaking initiative aims to address the growing issue of ‘period poverty’ which sees females across the country use unsuitable items, or nothing at all, to manage their period simply because they cannot afford the proper products.

A study by girls’ rights charity, Plan International UK, found 45 per cent of respondents living in Scotland said they had no choice but to use makeshift sanitary wear including newspaper and socks in place of sanitary towels and tampons because of financial difficulty.

The Council has already made the headlines on the issue when it became the first local authority in the UK to introduce free sanitary products within its secondary schools.

Since spearheading the initiative last August, young woman have benefitted from over 13,000 free sanitary towels and tampons while at school.

Their decision to extend the programme into the wider community will see the introduction of free sanitary products in up to 100 of its buildings.

Women will be able to access the sanitary wear via vending machines located in the toilets.

Marking this significant step in their efforts to tackle period poverty, the Council Leader Joe Cullinane made a visit to a local library to chat to users on the impact this announcement will have on the lives of local residents who may be struggling to make ends meet.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said: “Sanitary products are a necessity, not a choice. I wish for no women or girl here in North Ayrshire to find themselves in the embarrassing and often degrading situation of having to use improper sanitary protection simply because they cannot afford it.

“After all, periods are not exempt from poverty – they don’t take account of what is in your pocket or purse. Therefore, it is absolutely right that we should look at ways in which to tackle this gendered inequality.

“This latest announcement in our period poverty programme aims to help address the issue and make period poverty history in North Ayrshire.”