Lancashire loans firm lands major award

Photo (L-R) Amal Gomersall of Citi, Elaine Rimmer and Pat Donoghue of Lancashire Community Finance, and broadcaster Kaye Adams at the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards in Glasgow
Photo (L-R) Amal Gomersall of Citi, Elaine Rimmer and Pat Donoghue of Lancashire Community Finance, and broadcaster Kaye Adams at the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards in Glasgow

Lancashire Community Finance, which has provided an ethical alternative to high interest lenders to financially excluded people in Lancashire, has scooped top honours in a “responsible finance” award scheme.

The award came as part of an event in Glasgow at which actor and activist Michael Sheen launched a movement to end high-cost credit.

Since opening in 2005 the not-for-profit charity, based in Preston and with delivery offices throughout Lancashire, has helped over 11,000 people across the county access affordable loans totaling over £8.3 million.

It also offers support services including one-to-one advice for people at risk of falling into a debt spiral.

Last week an international foundation and the UK’s “responsible finance” body named LCF winner of the Resilience Award in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2018, in recognition of its resilience and consistency in its delivery of access to finance.

LCF provides a “local service for local people who have come to rely on us to provide reliable, affordable, tailored products lending to need rather than a one size fits all package.”

Judges praised its determination in competing with well-funded high interest and payday lenders by continuing to put its customers’ wellbeing at the core of its operation.

The awards ceremony in Glasgow was part of the Responsible Finance 2018 conference at which actor and activist Michael Sheen launched the End High Cost Credit Alliance and pledged support and resources for “fair finance” providers .

LCF’s Elaine Rimmer commented: “I’m shocked, surprised, delighted – and over the moon. We’re a small, locally based responsible finance provider. Since 2005 we have retained our original objectives, aims and roots in the community to provide affordable finance as an alternative to high cost credit.

“This award is for all our staff and all the people we have supported.”