Libraries in Aberdeenshire are to be given an overhaul to provide more support for people with growing businesses.
The council, working with Robert Gordon University, is planning to roll out the Library Innovation Network Aberdeenshire (Lina) later this year.
Beginning with Banff, Macduff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead, the scheme will install communal working spaces and offer access to entrepreneurial resources.
It is hoped that, by encouraging business owners to collaborate and learn, the initiative will grow the rural economy.
Banff has been picked as the first Lina location and will open this autumn, with the others following after.
Chris Moule, head of the RGU entrepreneurship and innovation group, said: “We see most of the new co-working spaces opening in city centres and it is important that we recognise and develop vibrant entrepreneurial communities and small businesses in the rural areas.
“Libraries provide the perfect location. They are often focal points where knowledge is captured and shared, and they have meeting rooms, internet access, and community members in one place.”
Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford said: “We are delighted to see this exciting and innovative project come to fruition on the back of strengthening relationships and a lot of hard work with RGU.
“The activities will complement the council’s wider regeneration efforts in the four towns and we look forward to seeing the positive economic and social benefits that will be delivered through this new partnership approach.”