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Council recognised for Armed Forces support

Date issued: 31 January 2018

Colchester Borough Council has received an award from the Ministry of Defence for its work to acknowledge and support the work of the Armed Forces.

The Ministry gives the Bronze Award, part of its Employer Recognition Scheme, to businesses and organisations which go the extra mile to demonstrate their commitment to aiding and employing members of the military community. 

To be eligible for Bronze, an employer must:

  • sign the Armed Forces Covenant
  • promote the fact that they are an Armed Forces Friendly organisation
  • be open to the employment of veterans and service leavers, including the wounded, injured and sick, and cadet instructors and military spouses or partners
  • support Reservist employees and allow them leave for training and deployment
  • offer discounts to members of the Armed Forces community

Colchester has a historic and established relationship with the Armed Forces, thanks to the centuries-old link between the town and its garrison. Following a successful bid to the MoD Covenant Fund, it also shares a dedicated Armed Forces Development Officer with Tendring and Braintree Councils.

The Council was also one of the first local authorities to sign up to the official Defence Discount Service in 2017, offering military discounts and concessions at Leisure World Colchester, the Castle and Lion Walk Activity Centre and on Colchester Events Company weddings.

Cllr Paul Smith, Leader of the Council, said: "When Colchester Borough Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant, we made a promise to treat all members of the military community with fairness and respect and to support our armed forces. 

"It's fantastic that we have been recognised for our commitment to this promise. We aim to maintain and develop this going forward to continue providing our Armed Forces with the support they deserve, and will be looking to attain Silver award eligibility for future Ministry of Defence awards."

Cllr Lyn Barton, Armed Forces Champion, said: "I am delighted that Colchester Borough Council has received this honour, which reflects our dedication to supporting current and former members of the military and their families.

"I would encourage other businesses and organisations in the area to look at the criteria for the award and ask if there is anything they can do to be more Armed Forces Friendly."

For more information on the Council's work with the Armed Forces, please visit