• 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 Growth Fund aims to support initiatives and projects which achieve growth in the local economy through commercial activity. Click here for more details.

  • Leader Action Groups for Dorset

There are two Local Action Groups in Dorset. Working with the Rural Development Programme we allocate funding to rural business and communities –  creating jobs, helping businesses grow and bringing benefits to the rural economy. 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). Click here for more details.


Other Grants available in Dorset 

Locality; Community Buildings Grants  

Any Town or Parish Council, Neighbourhood Forum or qualifying community group can apply for Pre-Feasibility grants (£1000 to £10,000) and Project Support grants (£5000 to £40,000) to help move a community building or community housing project to the point at which a Community Right to Build Order

Tesco Bags of Help
Bags of Help is now is always open to applications from community projects. Bags of Help is funded by Tesco customers through the 5p carrier bag levy. Projects must deliver a physical environmental improvement and/or encourage use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces

Viridor Credits
Small and large grants scheme for Community or heritage and biodiversity projects.

More than a Pub – Plunkett Foundation
The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a unique two year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £3.62 million and is jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change.

Woodland Carbon Fund
A new grant opened on 10 November aimed at encouraging planting of new large-scale multipurpose woodlands across the country. This will help to meet Government’s future carbon targets and deliver a wide range of other benefits including increased recreation, biodiversity, improved water quality, prevention of soil erosion, enhanced flood protection and producing timber and wood fuel.

Community Asset Fund – Sport England
From 30 January 2017, sports clubs and community organisations will be able to apply for investment from the Community Asset Fund – Sport England’s new capital fund dedicated to enhancing the spaces in local communities that give people the opportunity to be active.This fund will have a value of £15 million per annum with the anticipated size of bids between £1000 and £150,000. There is no deadline to apply and awards will be made from February 2017.

Bright Ideas Fund – Locality
Round 2 opens in February 2017.
The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give community groups the support and tools to start setting up their community business. It also aims to give groups the early stage finance needed to carry out consultation with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs. A programme of support and grants of up to £20,000 is available to develop your community business idea.