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Forces charities awarded Libor cash

ARMED forces ­charities in Scotland have been awarded nearly £5 million from fines imposed over the Libor scandal to set up mental health support centres and improve accommodation and holiday homes for veterans and military personnel.

Chancellor George Osborne will announce today that more than £12m is being distributed to 24 armed forces charities and good causes using the pot of money from the financial penalties levied on banks for attempted to manipulate Libor, the inter-bank lending rate.

The largest single award is going to Edinburgh-based Veterans First Point, which will receive £2.5m to establish mental health support centres for veterans across Scotland. Houses for Heroes Scotland will use almost £2m to build low-rent houses for wounded service personnel and their families.

Scottish Veterans Residences will receive £233,000 to provide ­temporary supported ­accommodation for veterans in Glasgow, which will help with the transition to ­civilian life.

The HMS Neptune Welfare Fund will receive £102,000 to refurbish a holiday cottage to ensure the facility can be used by injured servicemen and their families.

Rothiemurchus Lodge in Aviemore, which provides affordable self-catering holiday accommodation for armed forces personnel, veterans and their ­families, will also receive £65,000 to upgrade various parts of the Lodge.

A number of other projects which work across the UK have also received funding, including Defence Medical Welfare Service, which will use £896,296 to provide forces personnel across the UK with additional hospital welfare and psychosocial support.

Combat Stress has been awarded £575,268 to provide a 24-hour helpline for veterans ­providing welfare advice, support and guidance, and the Hasler Company, which is dedicated to helping seriously injured and ill Royal Marines, will use £50,000 to provide respite breaks across the UK for service families.

Veterans First Point, which is run under the clinical direction of NHS Lothian, was set up in 2009 to provide welfare and psychological support for veterans and their families. It has helped more than 800 individuals so far.

The new funding will be used to develop its centre in Edinburgh and establish a further three centres in Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Secretary of State for ­Scotland Alistair Carmichael said: "It is right that fines received from banks which attempted Libor manipulation are being used for good causes across the UK."

Osborne said: "I'm delighted to be able to announce more money for those who are supporting our brave armed forces, veterans and their families."

The Libor scandal surfaced last June, when Barclays was fined £290m for attempting to fix Libor, which is a crucial benchmark for interest rates across the economy.

Earlier this year the Royal Bank of Scotland was fined £390m, Dutch bank Rabobank £662m and Swiss banking giant, UBS, £940m.

In his autumn statement earlier this month, Osborne announced £100m of money gathered from UK banks in Libor fines would go to military charities and the work of ambulance and police services.

It follows a previous allocation of around £35m from the Libor pot to armed forces charities last year.

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