Lancashire Community Finance (LCF), which has provided an ethical alternative to high interest lenders to financially excluded people in Lancashire since 2005, this week scooped top honours in a "responsible finance" award scheme in Glasgow, part of an event chosen by actor and activist Michael Sheen to launce his 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 country with affordable loans totalling over £8.3 million.

This 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. They said it has "overcome significant challenges by becoming adaptable, flexible and determined"

The Awards ceremony in Glasgow on 20th March 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 such as LCF.

After learning of winning the Award 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 and everyone who has stuck by our side for the 14 years we've been working."

Delivered in partnership by Responsible Finance and the Citi Foundation, the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards celebrate the responsible finance sector and its contribution to local economies.

Responsible Finance providers are a crucial part of the UK's financial sector, supporting thousands of individuals every year, and are the leading financial institutions offering affordable finance to many small and micro enterprises.

"LCF and the other winners in this year's Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards are offering vital products and services to their local communities" said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development.

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Lancashire Community Finance, is a non profit making Community Development Finance Institution providing loans at fair market rates to individuals and small businesses in the Lancashire area. We are also a delivery partner for the government backed Start Up Loans Scheme.