POLICE in Preston are appealing for witnesses to an armed robbery that took place on Wednesday.

Two men held up the Lloyd's TSB bank on Blackpool Road, at Lane Ends, Ashton.

The raiders struck at about 11.50am, when they threatened the staff and demanded cash. Police say a substantial sum of money was handed over.

Two customers were in the bank at the time, but nobody was injured.

The first offender is white, aged mid to late twenties, 5ft 9 to 5ft10ins tall, with a medium build and wearing a blue or black baseball cap, a beige casual top, blue jeans and white trainers.

The second offender is Afro-Caribbean, 5ft 8ins tall, with a medium build and wearing a black woollen hat, a black tracksuit style top, light grey tracksuit trousers and two-tone trainers.

Detective Inspector Joe Kellett of Preston police said: "We have reason to believe that the offenders may have been in the vicinity of the bank earlier in the day and we would appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in this area to contact us."

Anybody who can help should call the police on 01772 203203 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.