Law firm Watkins & Gunn has become a founding partner in an online portal designed so that the public can specifically find businesses owned by veterans.

Veteran Owned UK is the largest UK online business directory for veterans founded by Scott Johnson, a former Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Engineer, after seeing many similar directories online in the USA.

It was created to support veterans owning businesses by providing the public with a user-friendly directorate to locate businesses supplying products and services specific to the customers' needs, and now boasts more than 950 members.

The portal is designed to provide veteran owned business with greater exposure to the public and to build closer working relationships within the veteran owned business community.

Watkins & Gunn, which has offices Newport, Cardiff and Pontypool, was "eager" to support veteran owned businesses in the UK and to partner with the first directory in the country.

The firm already supports veterans by offering a service to help ex-armed forces personnel claim compensation for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus and felt they could build on this and do more to help by becoming partners in this new venture. Through the directory they are also offering discounted rates for their legal services to ex-servicemen and women.

By using the new portal, veterans can enter the directory free of charge but the portal also offers paid membership for a more "bespoke" service where businesses can add additional features to their listings.

No portal of this nature existed in the UK before Veteran Owned UK, despite the concept being popular in the US.

Clive Thomas, managing partner of Watkins & Gunn, said "We are keen to support ex-military personnel.

"When we met Scott Johnson and he explained the concept of Veteran Owned UK, we saw an opportunity to support veterans in a new and innovative way, so felt we had to get involved.

"There is a huge gap in the market for veteran businesses to advertise themselves. By using the businesses showcased in Veteran Owned UK Directory, you can directly support veterans, whilst utilising a service or purchasing a product that you need."