A dedicated veterans centre could be developed in Liverpool for ex armed forces personnel, reservists and their families.
New North West charity Veterans HQ has submitted a bid in partnership with the Sovini Group to create the facility in Everton.
The proposed centre would transform the now derelict first headquarters of the King’s Barracks, which features a former parade ground and drill hall.
Veterans HQ is said to be one of two organisations looking to regenerate the whole site, which was home to the 9th battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment.
The charity, which has evolved out of the Liverpool Veterans project, has been established to support 87,500 veterans across the Liverpool City Region by working to ensure they each have the same access to help and care so they can reach their full potential.
The Earl of Derby DL has been unveiled as the first patron of Veterans HQ, which is hoping to offer education and employability support to veterans if its bid for the former barracks is successful.
Through the centre, veterans would also be signposted to services run by partner agencies to help connect them with support around housing, alcohol dependency, social isolation and making the transition back into civilian society.
Stuart Fitzgerald, a trustee and spokesman for Veterans HQ, says: “Veterans HQ is already supporting over 600 individuals and their families.
“Most are men, some had been in trouble with the police and might be in custody and others were put in touch with Veterans HQ through housing associations.
“Some needed emergency food parcels or help on their welfare rights. In other cases, families self-refer to get support helping their family member to re-adjust to civilian and family life as they leave the cocoon of the military for the last time.
“Very few veterans present with simple, singular needs whilst the majority can be struggling with many complex challenges.
“With the right support, these former forces personnel, from all walks of life, can give themselves a second chance.”
Veterans HQ’s plans for a dedicated centre have been revealed ahead of this year’s Armed Forces Day on 24 June, when Liverpool will host the national celebrations to honour servicemen and women.
From 11am until 5pm on the day, events and activities will include a parade of around 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands; demonstrations by armed forces teams; flypasts from aircrafts such as the Red Arrows, weather permitting; and family entertainment and attractions.