Colchester: Wounded veterans’ accommodation project receives £6m boost from Libor banking scandal fines

Colonel Gary Wilkinson speaking at a previous event.

Colonel Gary Wilkinson speaking at a previous event. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Armed service veterans in Essex who were injured in the line of duty are to benefit from a multimillion pound accommodation scheme funded with fines imposed on banking scandal offenders.

The Treasury today announced £6m of funding to support a project providing 65 units of temporary, supported and independent accommodation in Colchester, helping veterans in need of housing.

Colonel Gary Wilkinson OBE, commander of Colchester Garrison, which is working with Riverside ECHG, Haig Housing Trust and Stoll to help deliver the project, said he was “looking forward to supporting them as the plans become a reality”.

The funding forms part of a £40m package raised from fines issued to banks involved in the Libor interest rate fixing debacle, which has been awarded to eight projects supporting armed forces organisations across the UK.

The Prime Minister David Cameron will meet with representatives from the successful organisations tonight at his annual armed forces reception.

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“I am proud to announce the first successful projects that will be supported by the Veterans Accommodation Fund,” he said.

“Our armed forces make huge sacrifices for the nation and it is right that all of us recognise that sacrifice – that is why this government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law,”

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“One of the greatest worries for our troops when they are wounded or injured is how they and their families will continue with daily life. We should do all we can to take away those worries by providing them with the specialist help and support they need to continue to live their lives, and these projects will help to deliver that.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne made Libor fine money available to military organisations and charities as part of the government’s Armed Forces Covenant which seeks to recognise the sacrifices made for their country.

Mr Osborne said: “I am delighted that we are using Libor fines to support these important projects which will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of armed forces veterans and their families.

“It is right that the money raised from people who demonstrated the worst of values in our society should now be used to help and support those who demonstrate the very best.”

Government Defence Minister Anna Soubry said she was delighted that five of the eight bids will be used to assist veterans and their families find suitable accommodation.

“Our armed forces and their families give so much to our country so it is only right that we continue to recognise their contribution and sacrifice after they have left Service,” she said.

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