Credit shop opening in Leyland to hamper loan sharks

Leyland United Reformed Church
Leyland United Reformed Church

Leyland’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau has welcomed plans for a pop-up credit union to open in the town, to discourage people from turning to pay-day loans.

Unify, which already has credit union shops in Chorley and Wigan, has announced it will be coming to the United Reformed Church on Hough Lane once a week.

It is seen as a safer way for people to save and borrow cash instead of turning to pay-day loan sharks, which often have high interest rates.

Leyland and Chorley’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau manager Diane Gradwell said: “Money management and money problems is one of our biggest categories which we have to deal with, and we are working very closely with the credit union in Chorley to offer people a good way to access money in an affordable, safe way.

“We really welcome this development in Leyland, because we find that people come to us when they can’t borrow money from high street lenders, such as banks, and they end up turning to other lenders which have high levels of interest.

“We recommend the credit union as a very viable alternative.”

Unify originally operated from a base in Chorley once a week for 11 months, until demand saw a need for a full-time shop to open in the town centre earlier this year.

Described as a community savings and loans co-operatives, owned and run by its own members, the Chorley branch now has almost 500 members.

Manager Julie Greenwood said: “It’s a really good way to start, opening one day a week to see if there is a demand for this service.

“We’ve found that people from Leyland have been coming to Chorley, so it will be good for them to have a base in their home town.

“We get really positive comments from people that the credit union treats them with humanity, and those who have never saved money before are learning that a couple of pounds put away every once in a while does add up.”

Unify will be in the Leyland church from 2pm until 3pm, every Tuesday from next week.