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Section 106 grant fund

Section 106 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 allows a local planning authority to enter into a legally binding agreement or planning obligation with a land developer called a Section 106 agreement.

The district council can, through these agreements, provide financial support for groups to provide and develop public open space and recreation projects that benefit the people of West Dorset. 

In order for the district council to distribute this money fairly, they work with the relevant town or parish council to decide how these funds should be allocated. In order to do this applications must meet the council's Leisure Development Fund criteria. Download the application form.

What projects are eligible?

  • sport as defined by Sport England
  • a defined arts project as set out in the Art Support Plan 'Animating the Arts'
  • museum or museum-related projects
  • community applications, normally play areas
  • projects and organisations that are based in or near to the town/village where the development has been built

Typical projects that the scheme can support:

  • equipment for arts centres
  • new galleries in museums
  • new buildings such as sports changing rooms
  • expanding or improving accommodation
  • floodlighting
  • improving the surfaces of sports pitches
  • play areas

Who can apply?

In order for your organisation to be eligible you must:

  • be a voluntary or not-for-profit organisation, a town or parish council or school with community use
  • have facilities or events which are available to non-members on reasonable terms
  • operate a satisfactory pricing policy and promote access for members and non-members
  • not have sufficient funds in reserve to undertake the project without district council financial assistance
  • if the project relates to premises, have reasonable security of tenure for at least 20 years
  • demonstrate that the project is seeking to attract new participants/members or to develop new audiences
  • demonstrate that the project serves the population of West Dorset and/or people on holiday in West Dorset

The following are not funded:

  • individuals
  • grants will not be awarded retrospectively and you need to agree not to commit expenditure to the project before the district council has reached a decision
  • grants are not available for personal sports equipment, finishing projects that have already started, or for buying land for future development unless it follows immediately
  • funding towards running costs. Funding must be used for projects over/up to one year with clearly defined beginning or end dates
  • activities that are part of the curricular activity in schools
  • loan repayments or road vehicles

New guidance on how and when planning obligations will be required for development in West Dorset has now been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document. This guidance will be an important consideration in deciding planning applications as part of the Local Development Framework.



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