A CHARITY which helps ex-service men and women says it is a step closer to establishing a ‘veterans’ village’ in Scotland after announcing plans for 24 flats solely for the use of former members of the armed forces.

Erskine has announced it will press ahead with the construction of the apartment building on the grounds of its estate near Bishopton, Renfrewshire, this year.

Studies have shown that veterans are more prone to homelessness than non-veterans and are 10 per cent more likely to become homeless in Scotland, and it is hoped that the village will help them establish a life among a community they are familiar with. 

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The flats will be for single people who formerly served in the navy, army or air force or associated services, and will be available for rent. 

Each will have a double bedroom, living room, en-suite shower room, kitchenette and will be let furnished or unfurnished. There will also be access to a communal recreation and TV area. 

The building will complement the 44 veterans’ cottages already on the site, which have been let to families for a number of years.

A number of apartments will provide accommodation for veterans working with Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SMBC) which is also opening on the estate in June. 

Renfrewshire-based social enterprise SBMC helps more than 40 ex-servicemen and women every year through direct, flexible employment in a factory producing rail and road signs, wooden products and delivery services.

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Erskine Chief Executive Steve Conway said: “Building apartments for younger veterans is just one of several initiatives we are taking forward this year to extend our service provision. 

“We envisage a true Veterans Village which will support many more veterans enabling them to access advice, accommodation and employment.”