DEFENCE Secretary Philip Hammond saluted charity chiefs who are providing new residential ­accommodation for ex-military personnel in Glasgow's East End.

He went to Cranhill to see for himself a £6.7million housing development which the Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) is due to open in Bellrock Crescent in a few months time.

The 51 new flats will be used by ex-armed forces veterans including many who have served in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq and who are struggling to cope with civilian life and mainstream housing.

Mr Hammond, who had earlier spoken out against Scottish independence ­during a visit to the Thales Optronics plant at Govan, was impressed with the East End development which is nearing completition.

He said: "I am delighted to be in Glasgow today and see first-hand the vital work that Scottish Veterans Residences are undertaking to provide accommodation for veterans across Scotland.

"All those who serve in the Armed Forces deserve the very best support in their transition to civilian life so it is only right that we help meet their housing needs when they have fallen on hard times, been wounded in service or need day-to-day care and support once they have left the Armed Forces."

"Last year, £5.5m of libor funding was awarded to organisations across the length and breadth of Scotland to help support veterans.

"This funding demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our Armed Forces community, as set out in the Armed Forces Covenant, and will help transform hundreds of lives."

Cranhill represents SVR's first residential project in the West of Scotland.

The charity's chief executive Phil Cox said: "We are extremely grateful for the £233,000 of libor funding which we've received so far in helping support the work going on at Cranhill.

"We hope to receive ­further support through this generous fund going forward which will be put to great use in helping UK military veterans.

"While most people who leave the armed forces are able to successfully make the transition from military to civilian life, some veterans do not adjust well and can experience a range of issues which can lead to homelessness, including joblessness, depression and substance abuse.

"The Cranhill development is being built to provide a safety net for them."

SVR provide fully ­furnished ensuite accommodation for ex-service men and women as well as their partners across the UK and each year supports around 200 personnel.

It has helped 60,000 people since SVR was set up in 1911.

The veterans who find a home in Cranhill will also receive resources to help them "move on in their lives," added Mr Cox.