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News release 4 April 2007                                     
For immediate release

Blackpool Base for New Agency Serving the Armed Forces and Veterans

The Ministry of Defence has today formally launched a new Agency aimed at improving personnel, pensions, welfare and support services to members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) was launched at a flag raising ceremony at its offices at Norcross, near Blackpool, in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Blackpool, Cllr Sue Wright and the Deputy Mayor of Wyre, Cllr John Hodgkinson.

Local veteran and National War Pensions Officer for the Burma Star Association, Jack Nield MBE, raised the flag assisted by members of the 2nd Battalion The Rifles from nearby Weeton Barracks. Air Vice-Marshal John Cliffe OBE, Director General Defence Training and Education, serving members of the Armed Forces and representatives from the local War Pensions Committee and ex-Service organisations witnessed the ceremony.

Derek Twigg MP, Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans said:

“This is an extremely important move by the Government and one which my predecessors and I have worked hard to bring about. The formation of SPVA will allow for the first time, the MOD to provide a single organisation for serving personnel and Veterans to contact, facilitating access to information and advice on their pay, pensions, compensation claims, records of service and medal entitlement”.

Tim Taylor, SPVA Director of Veterans Services said:

“Our Fylde Coast staff have a long tradition of providing high quality services by managing the national veterans helpline and the Government’s pension and compensation schemes for those injured or bereaved through Service. The creation of SPVA will allow their skills to be used within a much larger and diverse organisation, dedicated to supporting members of our Armed Forces both past and present.” 



Notes to Editors:

SPVA has been formed through a merger of the Veterans Agency (VA) and Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA).  The new Agency will provide for the first time, a range of ‘through life’ support functions direct to around 900,000 serving and ex-Service personnel from 5 UK sites, including Norcross.

The Norcross site will be the base for most of the new Agency’s Veterans Services Directorate, including the national veterans helpline, providing help to the estimated 5 million strong UK veterans’ community; and also for some of its corporate services.  Veterans helpline number 0800 169 2277.

SPVA offers the following services to the Armed Forces and the Veterans community:

For Further Information

For further information, please contact David Johnson, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency communications team, on 01253 333041, mobile 07717 882014.


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