This grant fund has now closed

Dorset Council’s small grant funding can help you to make a difference to our communities. This funding supports our ‘Strong and Healthy Communities’ council priority.

We want to encourage activity back into our community hubs across the county and support our communities to thrive.

We have two new grants available which offer small one-off grants between £500 - £2,000. This is to enable community venues, organisations and groups, working at local community level, to restart their activities that have been suspended over the past year due to the pandemic. Your annual income should be less than £100,000.

Our focus for these grants will be to make one-off grants to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision or support community venues to re-open.

These grants are specifically for voluntary and community sector organisations who have not been able to operate due to the Government restrictions.

Village Halls and Community Spaces Support Grant

What we will fund:

  • changing and adapting your venue to enable community activity to restart (e.g. essential repairs or small adaptations upon reopening, additional cleaning etc)  
  • contribution to core costs such as insurance and utility bills (e.g. heating, lighting)
  • helping to subsidise community venues in the short term to enable them to return to hosting activities or to encourage new hirers
  • digital inclusion/connectivity – improved broadband to offer digital services/set up digital hub 
  • promotion/marketing costs (up to a maximum £500) 
  • subsidise community lunch clubs
  • reimburse income from hosting a Foodbank whilst still incurring costs during the pandemic (e.g. heating and light)

What we won't fund:

  • ongoing maintenance and refurbishment
  • resurfacing, landscaping or MUGA’s (Multi Use Games Areas)
  • museums, cultural or arts venues
  • laptops
  • regular staff salaries

Dorset Community Restart Grant

To help you maintain or deliver existing local services or community activities after the pandemic that bring people together again.

What we will fund:

  • programme costs e.g. lunch clubs and community cooking courses, social clubs, community exercise classes  
  • core costs - for example: 
    • utilities (e.g. heating, lighting, broadband costs)
    • insurance
    • some workforce and/or volunteer costs 
    • venue hire costs
    • promotion and marketing costs (up to £500) 

What we will not fund:

  • ongoing maintenance and refurbishment
  • resurfacing, landscaping or MUGA’s (Multi Use Games Areas)
  • museums, cultural or arts venues
  • laptops
  • regular staff salaries
  • loss of income
  • capital projects

Before you start your application

  • check your organisation or activity is eligible
  • gather all the information you need
  • make sure your application tells us what you want to do and how much it will cost
  • give yourself enough time to complete our online application form

Start your application

Key dates for the application process

Key dates for the application process
Grant information Dates 
Fund opens 14 June 2021
Fund closes 25 July
Panel meets 23 August
Decision letters distributed 30 August

Help with completing your application

Dorset Community Action (DCA) are able to offer help and advice around governance, policies and how to demonstrate the need for your project. You can speak to an advisor on 01305 250921 or visit their website

You can also contact the Dorset Digital Hotline for help and advice. Call 01305 221048, they are available between 10am and 12 midday weekdays (except bank holidays). 

To contact a Dorset Council officer about your project: please email

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