To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2015 to Question 428, what progress has been made in ensuring funding from the Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund is distributed across the UK; and which organisations in each region of the UK have benefited from that fund to date.
Further to my answer of 2 June 2015 to Question 428 which detailed the information held centrally by the Ministry of Defence. The final project under the Veterans Accommodation Fund (VAF) was announced on 20 July 2015 and that was for £50,000 to the RAF Benevolent Fund, for replacement windows at Forge House in England. The £40 million VAF and the £35 million LIBOR Fund have now closed.
This year saw the implementation of a permanent commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant through a £10 million per annum Covenant Fund, and will be ring-fenced from the UK Defence Budget. Assessments of the first-round of small grants (up to £20,000) are currently taking place and those selected will be announced around the New Year. The deadline for the second round of applications is 17 December 2015.
The deadline for expressions of interest for the large grant scheme (£20,000 to £500,000) has now closed. Those projects accepted for round two will also be informed by 26 November 2015, the deadline for stage two applications is 13 January 2016 with stage two decisions communicated by 10 March 2016.
Although we welcome applications from across the whole of the UK, these will be selected on the basis of defined criteria. The selection panel is made up of MOD officials, sector experts and representatives from each of the Devolved Administrations.