• Friday , 17 August 2018
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Given the current economic climate, there are very few grants available to businesses and those that are available are subject to a number of factors which could affect your eligibility for a grant. These factors include for example, the location and size of your business, your industry sector and the purpose of the grant.

Finding the sources of grants is rarely easy and so the fastest way of finding something that fits your circumstances and needs is to use a grant search engine. Some may require registration and charge a fee. Click on the links below to go to them directly:-

For community grants please refer to your local authority.

Grant bodies prefer to see specific targets and results – often compatible with their own objectives. As well as making an assessment of the benefits of your project, the awarding body will expect a high level of commitment from you and your business and for the project to be commercially viable. Whether you are eligible for a grant will depend on the terms and conditions of the specific grant for which you apply. Grant schemes often run out of funding before the project ends so apply asap. Schemes available to local businesses include:

Awards for AllA Lottery grants programme that funds small, community-based projects across the UK

Plunkett Foundation  The Plunkett Foundation has been awarded over £450,000 from long-term supporters the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to create a new comprehensive support service for rural communities considering setting up or diversifying community-owned services – like shops and pubs – to help turn the tide on rural decline.

Main Grants Available in Dorset

  • North Dorset Economic Growth Fund

The fund can support initiatives and projects from start-up businesses. These are businesses which are moving from the idea stage to securing finance, setting up the basic structure of the business and are in the first phase of operating and trading (normally up to a year’s trading) Click here for more details.

  • Growth Programme: Grants for the Rural Economy

The Growth Programme provides funding to help projects in England which create jobs and help rural economy growth. These grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

As at February 2017 there are calls for expressions of interest in a number of areas for Dorset businesses Click here for more details.


The LEADER approach is a well established method of delivering Rural Development Programme funds at a local level.  In England this is being delivered by 80 Local Action Groups (LAGs) and it targets rural areas with specific needs and priorities. The Dorset Local Action Groups bring together people interested in the area. LEADER ensures that it is local knowledge and experience which decides what and where funding would make the most difference. Click here for more details

There are a number of other grants available regionally and nationally that apply to Dorset based companies. These are very often quite specialised in nature and with a narrow appeal, usually designed to encourage a particular piece of work. If you feel that your business might qualify for one of these please call us on 03454 586 480 to discuss a possible tailored search.

Applications can be submitted at any time until early 2019.