Grant funding from Dorset Council available for businesses

Following the success of the first round of Dorset Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grants, are open.

Dorset Council received a total of 64 applications in the previous round, including a number of Dorchester Chamber for Business members.  One success story was Minuteman Press in Poundbury read the story here.

David Prince, owner of Minuteman Press Poundbury said:

“In Jan we applied for a business growth grant to help us purchase a new wide format Latex Printer and an associated large format cutter. We had been wanting to buy this for a while but due to the costs we just couldn’t afford it.

“When I saw the grants being rolled out, I applied hoping that we fitted within the business growth category. Dorset Growth hub was really helpful in the initial conversation giving me guidance as to how I should apply.

“I completed the grant process with all the information that was asked for and a few weeks later we found out we had been successful. Just a couple of weeks later we had our new printer and cutter delivered and we have been printing Banners, roll up banners, posters and stickers on the new machines. The grant has been a great to help us broaden the range of print products we can now offer inhouse at Minuteman Press Dorchester.”

A total of 33 awards funding over £250,000 in business support grants and over £80,000 for community infrastructure grants were made, with each project supported and located within the Dorset Council area.

These projects included, but were not limited to:


  • Modern and low emission back-up generator for a rural food business
  • Innovative machinery to promote new markets, improve sustainability and increase economic growth
  • Digital and e-commerce solutions for improved market delivery and customer participation
  • Machinery to expand business growth and employability.


  • Weatherproofing of a community theatre
  • Updating changing facilities to meet the needs of a local cricket club.
  • Purchase of digital equipment for a cinema and youth academy
  • Improving pedestrian access to local recreation facilities
  • Purchase of modular staging that is versatile and movable for both indoor and outdoor use, with LED lighting.

Round 2 will open on Monday 29 April and close on Sunday 30th June 2024. As before…

  • Community groups and organisations can apply for grants between £1,000 and £15,000.
  • Local business grant awards are from £2,000 to £20,000 per business.

Dorset Council has been allocated just over £6 million via the UKSPF for use within the county, with funds available until completion in March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK by investing in communities and places, supporting local businesses, people, and skills.

New for this round is an allocation of funds specifically for Business Start Ups. Each business must provide 100% match funding in cash and are required to undertake a diagnostic support with our lead business partner, WSX Enterprise.

Full details about the grant schemes, criteria, and eligibility can be found on the Dorset Council website, as well as information on how to apply. 

Tim Hulme, Dorset Council’s Corporate Director for Assets and Regeneration, said:

“We’re delighted to have been able to support so many businesses and community groups so far, and this latest round will see even more organisations receive additional funding.

“I’m hoping that, by giving some examples of how the money has been allocated in the first round, it will help Dorset residents consider how they could use this funding to benefit their communities and businesses.

“Please have a look at the website and, if you think your organisation is eligible to receive a grant from either of these funds, don’t hesitate to apply as soon as this round is open. We’re looking forward to seeing the applications over the coming weeks.”

Steve Bulley, President of Dorchester Chamber for Business added:

“We are delighted to see round two of the business and community grants now open. These are an opportunity for you to be supported with investment in to your business to drive growth. Chamber member Minuteman Press was fortunate to be offered a grant in the last round which has been transformational for the business.

“The Dorset Growth Hub team will be on hand to offer advice on your proposal and I would urge businesses to reach out to see how this funding could be of assistance”.

For information on Dorset Growth Hub see:

With over 100 members any business in Dorset can join Dorchester Chamber from business for £60p/a (no VAT).