Monklands residents are being encouraged to use a new “money map” website, developed “to help people who have faced a Covid hit to their finances”.

Staff and volunteers at the citizens advice bureaux in both Airdrie and Coatbridge are promoting the new resource, created by the organisation nationally to bring together information on all the support available on benefits, grants and income maximisation.

Hosted at www.moneymap.scot, it ranges from giving advice on housing and council tax costs, reducing utility bills, banking and general savings tips.

The tool was launches as research for Citizens Advice Scotland revealed that 47 per cent of people polled across the country have run out of money before payday since Covid-19 restrictions began – nearly one in five of whom were not experiencing financial difficulties before the pandemic.

Coatbridge bureau manager Marian Tobin told the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser: “The pandemic has meant a period of huge economic uncertainty for people in Monklands.

“Many people were on a financial cliff edge before the virus, living from payday to payday and just making enough to cover essential bills; and it’s clear that Covid is pushing substantial numbers into debt and destitution.

“The money map tool is for anyone impacted financially by the virus; it brings together all the helpful advice and options out there for people feeling the squeeze and covers a whole range of opportunities to increase income, cut costs and get in control of your finances.”

She added: “We’d always encourage policymakers to go further in providing financial support, but it’s vital that people recognise they have rights and entitlements now – helping them get that extra bit of money that could make all the difference.”

Anyone unable to access the online tool can get help by emailing [email protected], or by calling the Airdrie bureau on 01236 754109 or Coatbridge office on 01236 421447.