Wiganers open their hearts and homes to evacuated residents

Springfield Street, the epicentre of tonight's police action
Springfield Street, the epicentre of tonight's police action

Kind-hearted Wigan residents have rallied to help the community tonight as homes were evacuated during a police terror search.

Officers cordoned off a large area of Swinley during the incident, in which bomb disposal teams were called into action.

Dozens of officers were stationed near Springfield Street where a house had been searched following an arrest linked with the Manchester terrorist attack.

Wigan Council chief executive Donna Hall said staff were ready to help out residents with a pre-arranged plan.

Ms Hall said: "In the event of people being displace or local hotels. Anyone displaced will be looked after and kept safe until they can return to their own homes"

It was not long before generous Wiganers stepped forward to offer additional aid for anyone affected. A Twitter account named “Negative Optimist” Tweeted: “If any elderly residents need transport and lifts anywhere, I am available with a seven seater vehicle.”

Other people also offered to accommodate those stranded. “Mrs Wilson” posted: “Can offer accommodation if needed.”

Sara Moreton said: "Anyone in Swinley need a place to stay DM me.”

The cordon was lifted just before 9.30pm, but that did not hamper the brave spirit of Wiganers who were keen to help in any way they could.

Laura Jayne also offered her home for those in need: “If anyone needs a place to go, happy to help,” she added.

Businesses were among the Samaritans extending invitations of shelter.

AMF bowling in Wigan posted on Facebook: "Due to the evacuations on Wigan lane, the bowling alley is offering to stay open for anyone needing a place to stay over night. We will have refreshments available for anyone that wishes to come down."

The bomb disposal squad used a robotic device to carry out their investigation, which also bordered Wigan Infirmary.

Members of the public were urged to stay well away from A&E unless it was a life-threatening emergency, and visitors were asked to approach the hospital using the entrance close to the Cherry Gardens pub.