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Business grants and financial support

Financial advice

The Dorset Growth Hubemploy a finance specialist. Call 03454 586480 or email to arrange an appointment.

The GOV.UK business and finance support finder is a search tool for start-up and existing businesses to help find publicly-backed finance or support schemes.

Business grants

Grant for rural businesses

LEADER is a community led initiative, delivered by Local Action Groups (LAG) that works with the Rural Development Programme to allocate funding to rural business and communities - creating jobs, helping businesses grow and bringing benefits to the rural economy.

Funding can be used to support projects in rural areas which:

  • create jobs
  • help businesses grow, and
  • support the wider rural economy

LEADER can fund capital projects that:

  • increase farm productivity
  • support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
  • support rural tourism
  • provide rural services
  • support cultural and heritage activity
  • increase forestry productivity

There are 2 LEADER Local Action Groups in Dorset. For more information and to apply visit:

Grants for North Dorset businesses

North Dorset Economic Growth Fund

The North Dorset Economic Growth Fund is a small grants scheme for start-up businesses to support economic growth through commercial activity. 

View the appraisal criteria  before you apply to the North Dorset Economic Growth Fund.

North Dorset Apprenticeship Grant Fund

The North Dorset Apprenticeship Grant Fund can make grants of £1,500 towards the costs of taking on an apprentice. Download the application form.

Business loans

South West Investment Group (SWIG) 

South West Investment Group (SWIG) is a not-for-profit organisation and member of the Community Development Finance Association supporting small and medium sized businesses across the south west. Apply for a business loan to start up or grow your business.

Business tax and National Insurance

Visit HM Revenue and Customs website on what you need to do for tax and National Insurance purposes when you start up a business as a self-employed person, a partnership or a limited company. 

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