CASH confiscated from illegal money lenders could be used to improve your neighbourhood.

Community groups are being encouraged to bid for a slice of the loan sharks' stash through a scheme operated by Wigan Council and the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

People will have a say in how the money should be spent to improve their community. Groups can apply for up to a maximum of £500 per project idea.

Charities, community and voluntary groups, schools and statutory agencies benefiting those that live in Wigan borough are welcome to apply.

It must be used for a community project that either contributes to raising the awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks, promotes professional credit options to people at risk of using loan sharks, promotes financial management or budgeting to people at risk of using loan sharks or reduces crime and disorder.

The closing date for applications is Friday, February 15.

For an application form contact or call 07500809339.

To report a loan shark call the 0300 555 2222, text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003, email