Warning The Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund is open from 9am Monday 25 September and will close at midnight on Monday 6 November 2023.

The Dorchester Markets Joint Informal Panel holds Sunday car boot sales every week to raise money for local charities, community and voluntary organisations. The proceeds are distributed annually via a grants panel consisting of councillors from both Dorset Council and Dorchester Town Council.

Please read these guidance notes carefully before completing the application form. 

Distribution of grants

  • grants will range from £100 to £3000
  • grants can be used to support running costs and equipment
  • grants should be spent within twelve months of the award


To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • undertake that the monies will be used to benefit projects operating or supporting residents living within a 6.67 mile radius of the market and within the Dorset Council boundary
  • be a voluntary, non-profit-making group or charity operated with no undue restriction on membership
  • demonstrate good management, be constituted, have written policies, hold regular management committee meetings and be able to provide up to date accounts
  • have an appropriate safeguarding policy - if you are working with children and young people or vulnerable adults
  • demonstrate a need for their project that will result in a community benefit

What we can fund

Here are some examples of what we can fund:

  • running costs e.g. office costs, insurance
  • costs associated with out-of-pocket expenses for volunteers i.e. travel
  • capital expenditure such as equipment, improvements to buildings
  • contribution to setting up a new community activity or event
  • regular annual events – can apply but may not be a priority

What can’t we fund

  • ongoing staff costs (including salaries of permanent or fixed term staff)
  • any expenditure for item or service that has already been ordered or paid for
  • anything that has already been funded by a different source
  • items or services that only benefit an individual
  • loan repayments, topping up of accounts or transferring money to another group/charity
  • activities or services that schools have a statutory responsibility to provide e.g.  curriculum based activities or any activity taking place during curriculum time. Projects submitted by PTAs/Friends of Schools must take place before or after school, during lunchtime or in the holidays
  • fundraising activities for your organisation or others.
  • used vehicles/routine repairs and maintenance
  • parish and town councils

Funding Procedure

  • funding may be awarded in full, in part or not at all at the discretion of the panel
  • once the funding is approved and we have received your signed acceptance form, you will normally receive payment within 4 weeks by a BACs payment
  • we may offer a grant in principle, which will be released only when all other funding to start the project has been secured
  • you will need to send us invoices /receipts relating to the funding and complete an end of grant report form to say how the money has been used. If you are unable to complete this we may ask for the money back
  • you must spend the money as stated in your application and return any unspent funds
  • you must tell us if you change the project as described in your application

Application process

The fund closed to applications on the 6 November 2023.

Your application will be considered by a panel consisting of councillors from both Dorset Council and Dorchester Town Council. 

For your application please submit: 

  • a copy of your most recent annual accounts.
  • a copy of your organisation’s latest bank statement.
  • quotations for capital items over £500.
  • a copy of your constitution/ terms of reference/ set of rules
  • child or vulnerable adult safeguarding policy if relevant
  • a copy of your equal opportunities policy

Data Sharing

Dorset Council will share basic data information regarding your application with other local grant managers/funding streams. This will enable us to make informed funding decisions, avoid duplication of funding and ensure value for money is achieved through our grant making processes. Dorset Council will also ensure that applicants data is stored appropriately. See details of our Data Privacy and GDPR policy.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

As stated in Section E.2, the details of this application will be available for public inspection. If you are unsure about what this means please discuss your concerns with Dorset Council first.

For more information or support:

Community engagement project officer

Name: Fiona Thomas
Email: Fiona.thomas@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 838459
Full contact details