The grants programme is now closed. Email us at to be added to our mailing list and hear about future opportunities for community led local development in Dorset.


LEADER Community Led Local Development (CLLD) has been a successful model for the ‘bottom-up’ approach to local development. It brings people together to decide how they want to improve their local areas. Local action groups deliver grants into rural Dorset by working in partnerships of civil society, businesses and public bodies.

From 2000 to 2020 a succession of community led local action groups awarded grants from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to rural business and community groups across Dorset.

In the latest round of funding from 2014 to 2020 two local action groups awarded £2.91 million in 68 grants, creating 70 jobs. To be eligible for a grant projects needed to meet local need as identified in a Local Development Strategy.

We expect any future funding for rural areas to include elements of CLLD and the LEADER approach.

Read the Dorset LEADER case studies.