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Leisure Development Fund

The Leisure Development Fund gives financial support for groups to provide and develop projects that benefit the people of West Dorset.

Grants are available for projects costing £1,000 or more with awards normally based upon 20% of the estimated cost, up to a maximum of £5,000. There will be two application deadlines in 2018 - 1 April 2018 and 1 August 2018. To be eligible for a grant your project must be completed by 31 March 2019. The fund will not be available from April 2019 onwards. We aim to process all grant applications within 8 weeks of the closing date.

When assessing applications to the Fund, the council will take account of the priorities in its adopted Sports Strategy 2012-2017 (pdf, 2Mb) (opens in a new window)and Arts and Museums Support Plan 2012-2017 (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window).

Which projects are eligible?

Typical projects that the scheme can support:

  • putting on an event, such as an arts festival
  • equipment for arts centres
  • improvements in museums
  • new buildings, such as sports changing rooms
  • expanding or improving sports facilities
  • floodlighting
  • play areas
  • improvements and repairs to village halls
  • equipment for village halls that will benefit multiple groups

View the awards made from the Leisure Development Fund in 2015-2016 (pdf, 114kb) (opens in a new window).

Who can apply?

In order for your organisation to be eligible you must:

  • be a voluntary or not-for-profit organisation with a constitution and bank account, a registered charity a town or parish council or school (for 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
  • have reasonable security of tenure for at least 20 years if the project relates to premises
  • 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
  • be a village hall management committee to submit an application for funding towards a village hall

What is not funded:

  • individuals
  • personal sports equipment
  • the purchase of land for future development unless it follows immediately
  • running costs, consumable items, redecorating costs, and general maintenance
  • projects without clearly defined beginning or end dates
  • projects with a cost of less than £1,000
  • activities that are part of the curricular activity in schools
  • loan repayments or road vehicles
  • play equipment or community halls in any of the 6 West Dorset towns
  • heritage projects that are not related to an Accredited museum
  • sports or play area projects that have been awarded a grant within the last two years
  • projects that have already started or where expenditure has already been committed
  • projects that will not be completed by 31 March 2019

How to apply:

Please complete one of the following application forms and send it to the Head of Leisure and Commissioning at West Dorset District Council.

Chairman's Centenary Fund

The Chairman of West Dorset District Council, Cllr Peter Shorland, has created a small grant fund to support community projects that commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War.  A total budget of £10,000 has been set aside to create this fund and community groups and town/parish councils are invited to apply for grants of between £250 and £500.  An application form (pdf, 179kb) (opens in a new window)can be downloaded from this webpage.


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