The Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, opened Royal British Legion Industries’ new £4m apartments for injured veterans on Friday.
Designed by Clague, Kent’s largest architecture firm and funded by the Government through The Libor Fund and four corporate donors, including Morrisons Foundation, the apartments were officially opened at a grand event on Friday with over 250 attendees.
The development, three years in the making, includes 24 1-2 bedroom flats, all of which cater for the needs of senior and younger service leavers such as being suitable for wheelchair use, having adjustable worktops, extra-wide door frames, lighter doors, wet-rooms and other facilities that will make the veterans’ lives easier.
Tim Wolfe-Murray, Partner at Clague, commented:
“Projects like this always give you an extra bit of satisfaction in the fact that you are making a difference to people’s lives. We could not be prouder of the work that has been done here and we know that it is going to have a major impact on the lives of so many of our country’s veterans.”
Andrew Clague, Senior Partner at Clague said:
“The collaborative effort on such projects always impresses me. In this case we were working closely with RBLI, but also Jenner who was heading up the construction side of things. There were a lot of balls in the air, yet we managed to juggle them all! We’re really pleased that it has all come together so well.”
The houses are named Victory House and Invictus Games House – the latter after the international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, both serving and veterans – the apartments are the first phase in the charity’s initial plans to build a Centenary Village which they aim to open in 2019 – their centenary year.
Future plans include the construction of further accommodation, including three and four bedroom houses to ensure service families have a stable home, an assisted living scheme to offer help to more injured and disabled veterans, and a state-of-the-art community centre which will offer welfare, support and training.
Donors to the village include The Libor Fund from the Government, the Morrisons Foundation, ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity and Garfield Western Foundation.
RBLI is hoping to create a real sense of community for ex-forces personnel. Close to the current Royal British Legion Village, Invictus Games House and Victory House will have a courtyard at its centre and will home a former gold medal winning Chelsea Flower Show Garden, designed by Jo Thompson, which has been kindly donated by the Chelsea Barracks Foundation.