The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched a £3M funding programme to fund renovations and improvements to veterans’ community centres.

Grants of up to £30,000 are available. A small number of grants of up to £150,000 will be made to more complex projects.

The Veterans’ Community Centres Programme is a specialist pot of funding. Applicants must be Armed Forces charities with an existing building that requires refurbishment.

Melloney Poole, Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust said:

“We know that there are many well used community centres that offer a good space for veterans, but some of these centres could benefit from repair works such as improved heating or electrical wiring to make these valuable spaces better. We can also fund works that will make centres more accessible for older veterans or veterans with disabilities.”

The Royal British Legion Grangemouth Branch has a busy and vibrant Community Centre, well used by veterans of all ages along with the wider local community. The building has been in place for over 50 years. But for a while; the centre was struggling. The electrics were in a poor state of repair and some areas had not been renovated for decades. Veterans and others who came to the centre were keen for improvements to be made.

The Community Centre received a grant of £20,000 through the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme, to refurbish the building, improve the electrics and make the building more accessible for people with disabilities.

Alan Lochrie; the Chair of the Royal British Legion Grangemouth Branch explained more about the centre:

“The disabled access in our building was not as good as we wanted it to be; and this was making it hard for older veterans and others with disabilities to come to our centre.  Parts of the centre would be very cold. The electrics in the building were not in a good state; and we needed a better fire alarm system.

The grant has made a huge difference. More veterans come to the centre now; and younger veterans come along too. It’s a much more friendly and comfortable space to be in.”

In the November 2018 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer awarded the sum of £3 million to the Ministry of Defence in order

“to support the repair and refurbishment of community centres run by Armed Forces organisations which continue to provide a focus for veterans and support improvements to health and social outcomes”.

The Ministry of Defence has asked the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to run this programme on its behalf.

There will be three rounds of funding; and applications for the first round need to be received by 11th March 2019.

For more information visit the programme pages

4 Comments

  1. Bridget Orr

    Reply

    Dear Sirs

    I am Branch Chairman for Cippenham Royal British Legion, based in Slough, Berkshire. Our building was originally built in 1928 and has been added to over the years and is definitely in need of some major works, including the roof, additional disabled facilities including another toilet. I would like to submit an application for funding please.

    • Nicci Shayler

      Reply

      That’s great Bridget, thank you for getting in touch. Can we suggest you visit our Veterans’ Community Centres page to have a good read of the guidance and eligibility. You can then apply online via that page when you are ready. The final closing date is 4 November 2019; however, we would encourage you to submit your application in plenty of time to allow us to offer additional support if needed. Good luck with your application!

  2. Jim Harris

    Reply

    Dear Sirs

    i am the Branch Secretary of Madron & Heamoor Royal British Legion, and We are based near Penzance in Cornwall, Our Building was built in 1945 and the last major alterations to the property was in 1977. since then we have instaled a disabled toilet and disabled ramps in to the building, apart from that not much has been done due to lack of funding. our building has a flat roof which over the last year has started to leek in more than one place, along with the roof Cladding including doors and windows fire alarm/ final exit doors, the dance floor needs attention and the car park is badly in need of attention. We are curruntly having a Asbestos Refurbishment Survey as we need this as we are not sure of the makeup of the side panels to the outside of the building. As you can see we have a long list but very little funding to do the work so we need major funding to bring the building up to date. The general overview of works to be carried out once we have sercured funding would be approx May/July 2020, design of works to be completed by contractor and method statement and Health & safety Rick Assessment to be provided to the legion appointed representative along with Insuranses cover before start of works. Apoligies for the long comment and the lateness of it as we have had to wait for contractors to look at what needs doing.

    yours with thanks James Harris (prefer Jim Harris)

    • Nicci Shayler

      Reply

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Can I suggest that you have a look through the programme guidance for the Veterans’ Community Centres programme where you will see all the costs that can be covered under this fund, including the things you’ve mentioned. You can also apply via this link too; but if you have any further questions, feel free to message us at info@covenantfund.org.uk and we’ll be happy to chat more about this programme. The next closing date is 4th November. https://www.covenantfund.org.uk/veterans-community-centres/

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