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Submit a bid for the Community Renewal Fund

We are inviting bids from organisations wishing to deliver activity as part of the UK Community Renewal Fund.

On this page:

About the fund

The UK government is bringing in a new Shared Prosperity Fund in April 2022. To help local areas prepare for its introduction and develop the programme, the government is providing funding in 2021-22 through the Community Renewal Fund. 

The Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

The government is interested in bids that build on local insight and knowledge, and project proposals that align with long term strategic plans for local growth, target people most in need and support community renewal. In addition, projects should show how they complement other national and local provision. A focus for this fund is to support innovation and new ideas in these areas, investing in pilots that draw on local insights and which will help places to prepare for the introduction of the Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

The fund has a total of £220m to invest across the UK. Each area across the UK can submit bids totalling up to £3m to the national fund, so the Dorset Council area can bid up to this amount. The government has identified 100 areas which are ‘Priority Places’, which will be a factor in the overall allocation of funding when bids are considered at a national level. The Dorset area is not classified as a Priority Place.

What type of bids are we looking for?

Bids should focus on growth, target those in need and support community renewal as well as meet clean growth principles. Applicants can put forward potential projects which align with one, or deliver across several, of the following investment priorities:

  • investment in skills
  • investment for local business
  • investment in communities and place
  • supporting people into employment

Projects also need to show:

  • how they complement (not duplicate) other national and local provision
  • how they build on local insight and knowledge
  • how they fit with long-term strategic plans for local growth (e.g. with the Dorset's Economic Growth Strategy 2020 to 2024 the Dorset LEP Local Industrial Strategy
  • how they target people most in need and support community renewal
  • they have considered equalities impacts
  • the extent of contribution to Net Zero objectives
  • the extent that the project can inform the development of the Shared Prosperity Fund, e.g. through creating transferable learning or scalability
  • overall deliverability, effectiveness and efficiency

More information on the investment themes and the types of projects that will be supported can be found in the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22.

Who can bid

We are seeking applications from:

  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • umbrella business groups
  • universities and colleges
  • local councils
  • private sector organisations providing a service to benefit other organisations or individuals

The Community Renewal Fund is for projects that can be delivered and completed up to 31 March 2022, and the funding is predominately revenue funding. Applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000 + where this is possible), although there is no minimum bid size.

Before you start

To maximise the possibility of being shortlisted, you should read the following documents and ensure that project proposals align with the objectives:

The prospectus provides detailed information on the investment objectives the fund is looking to support, examples of the types of projects within each investment theme and the process and selection criteria that will be used to assess bids. It also has some outline information on the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund.

The government encourages applicants and lead authorities to maximise the leverage of other funding, although this is not expected for employment support projects. However, value for money is a selection consideration.

Submit a bid

Bids must be submitted using the UK Community Renewal Fund application form. Bids submitted in any other format will not be accepted.

  1. Download the application form on GOV.UK.
  2. submit your bid application to us by emailing: and copy to
  3. Bids must be submitted by 12noon on Friday 21 May 2021.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is competitive and we will not enter into discussions with bidders once applications are submitted.

How bids will be assessed

All bids submitted before the deadline will be assessed against:

  • the gateway criteria set out in the Community Renewal Fund Assessment Criteria. Bids that fail to meet these criteria are ineligible and will be rejected
  • the extent to which they meet the objectives of the UK Community Renewal Fund
  • the extent to which bids would support the delivery of local growth and employment support opportunities

Following assessment, we will shortlist the bids which most strongly meet the UK Community Renewal Fund and local priorities, up to a maximum of £3m. We will submit the shortlisted bids to the government for consideration within the national competition context by 18 June 2021.

The UK government will assess all bids submitted by lead authorities against the criteria set out in the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22.

If any bids are successful, we will enter into a funding agreement with the applicant.

Successful projects will be announced by the government from late July 2021 onwards.

Dorset Council’s role

We have been designated as a lead authority for the Dorset area by the UK government. As a lead authority, we are responsible for:

  • receiving bids
  • selecting the bids that will be sent to UK government for consideration
  • paying grants to successful projects and managing their performance

General information on the role of lead authorities can be found within the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22 and for more detailed information, see the Technical Note for Lead Authorities, to download from the document list at UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Community Renewal Fund or the application process, please email: and copy to

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