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Fund for veterans' community centres launched

A £3 million programme to fund renovations and improvements to veterans’ community centres has been launched by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

The majority of awards will be up to £30,000 in value (‘Band A’), with a small number of grants of up to £150,000  (‘Band B’) made to projects of a more complex nature.

The Veterans’ Community Centres Programme, announced earlier this month, is a funding initiative specifically for Armed Forces charities (or Community Interest Companies) with an existing building that requires some degree of refurbishment.

It covers capital costs, which could be anything from upgrading the plumbing or fixing the roof to updating technology, such as installing a sound system or providing WiFi connectivity.

The Covenant team advise applicants to “take time to talk to the veterans who use your centre to find out what they would like from any refurbishment work.

“A strong application will be able to clearly show that local veterans have had a good involvement in the plans.”

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 £3m fund was made available to the Ministry of Defence by the Chancellor in November, and the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund was asked to run the programme on the MOD’s behalf.

There will be three rounds of funding, and applications for the first round of Band A grants need to be received by 9am on 11 March 2019. Round 2 closes at 9am on 3 June, with the final round closing at 9am on 4 November.

Band B applications open for pre-application phone calls today until 27 September. Email community.centres@armedforcesfunding.org.uk to arrange your call.

Applicants who are given a unique reference number must then complete and submit their online forms by 9am 4 November 2019, with applications going before Trustees in February 2020.

All timings are subject to change.

For the full announcement from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust see http://www.covenantfund.org.uk/veterans-community-centres/

You can check whether your project is eligible for funding by reading the programme guidance at http://www.covenantfund.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Veterans-Community-Centres-Guidance-1.pdf