More than £74,000 has been awarded to a range of projects designed to strengthen links between civilian and armed forces communities in Wiltshire.
The funding from the latest round of the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme will support projects which connect the forces and local communities.
Since launching its Armed Forces Community Covenant in August 2011 Wiltshire awarded approximately £700,000 to local projects.
The covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces. It aims to encourage local communities to support the service personnel in their area and nurture understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces families.
Amongst the latest grants from the Community Covenant Grant Scheme are:
Alabare Christian Care and Support
- £33,705 for community and family re-engagement of homeless veterans. The funding means they can fund supported accommodation for homeless veterans in Salisbury.
Colerne Skate Park
- £39,122 to transform a former BMX site into a skate park to provide local young people with more recreational opportunities
Army Welfare Service
- £2,105 for equipment and building hire for the newly-established Lyneham Youth Club for primary school children.
All bids for funding were fully supported by the Wiltshire Community Covenant partnership, which includes representatives from Wiltshire Council, the Army, Navy and Air Force, Community First/Plain Action, South West Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee, Help for Heroes (Tedworth House), and the Military Civilian Integration Partnership.
Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for communities Jonathon Seed said: “The community covenant grant scheme has enabled a number of projects to take place which bring together military personnel and local people of all ages.
“As we look forward to welcoming more service families to our county as part of the Army basing programme it is so important to engage local people so military families can integrate smoothly into these communities.
“All these funded projects will strengthen those vital links between the armed forces and civilian communities and I’m delighted for all the groups involved.”
The Ministry of Defence has made £30 million available over four years to provide financial support to projects which strengthen those ties.
Applications can be made for the next round of community covenant grant which closes on April 18 2014.
Further dates for rounds of funding are August 22 and December 15 2014. More information about the covenant grants is available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/militarycivilianintegrationpartnership
All projects must be endorsed by the local community covenant partnership and all completed applications should be sent to VCS@wiltshire.gov.uk