A new initiative to make it easier for Shropshire library visitors to eat healthier has been launched.

Vending machines packed with healthy snacks and drinks made with 100 per cent natural ingredients have been unveiled at libraries in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Ludlow.

The idea has come from Food4Health, from Shropshire Council’s Help2Change team.

Kevin Lewis, from the Help2Change team, said it is hoped the initiative will improve the health of the public.

He continued: “Increasingly, people struggle in the environments they are in to access healthy snacks.

“People are tempted by chocolate bars, by crisps, by fizzy drinks full of sugar.

“We are trying to buck that trend and give people access to a healthy range of snacks through vending machines through public buildings.”

It is hoped similar vending machines can be rolled out at other libraries, as well as schools, leisure centres and hospitals.

There are also plans for the food items to be made available to a small range of retailers.

Mr Lewis added it could become self-financing.

He said: “We want to see if we can disrupt the market place and see if we can make it evident that there is a commercial market for this.

“We want to test out whether we can develop a franchise opportunity for healthy foods to be offered on this basis in vending machines to work places, hospitals and public buildings, and that people will actually purchase the food.”