Our Wilton Trust awarded grant of £500,000

Our Wilton Trust, the service veterans’ charity based at Wilton Hill, has been awarded a major grant of half a million pounds to develop the UK’s first housing and enterprise hub for returning veterans.

The grant, awarded by the Armed Forces Covenant, will help fund the building of veterans’ accommodation on the site.

The project is transforming the former Erskine Barracks in Wilton into the first purpose built community based campus for service veterans.

It will include homes for returning veterans and an innovative enterprise hub to help them launch their own businesses.

The project is geared towards helping service veterans to make the move back into civilian life.

The enterprise hub will offer training and help for veterans to launch their own businesses and will sit alongside facilities for up to 60 other businesses.

At least 44 homes will be built on the site for veterans to rent for a period of between six and 24 months while they receive business and skills training.  They then move on to make room for another veteran.

The grant is the largest awarded from the Armed Forces Covenant this year. It was launched in June last year and is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

In the most recent round of funding £7.4m has been awarded to 24 large bids, including the Our Wilton Trust and a total of £1.46m to 93 small bids.

Matthew Bell, Chairman of Our Wilton Trust said “We are delighted to hear about the award to Our Wilton Trust and are very grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant for their support for this unique scheme.

“Many people gave their support to our grant application and we would like to thank all of them and in particular, John Glen MP, Wiltshire Council, the Mayor of Wilton Phil Matthews, Brigadier Simon Firth and especially Alabaré Christian Care whose continuing participation in this project we greatly appreciate.

“The grant award takes us a substantial step closer to the building contractor starting on site later this year which is what we all want to see.”

Andrew Lord, Chief Executive of Alabaré Christian Care said: “It was wonderful to hear the news of the grant for the Wilton Hill Development. A significant step forward in the creation of the integrated veterans community. The project is led by an exciting partnership of organisations including Alabaré, which will enable us to deliver a range of innovative and needs-led services.”

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