HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been granted to community groups across Dorset.

The funding panel of the Dorset County Council Fund met in early March and awarded over £190,000 in grants to 32 community organisations.

It was set up in 2011 to invest in and build the capacity of community organisations in the county.

Since then, over 200 organisations have received a total of £937,425 helping to deliver a wide range of benefits to residents.

Spencer Flower, leader of Dorset County Council, pictured inset, said: “Community organisations of all sizes across the county play an increasingly important role in making Dorset a good place to live.

“The Dorset County Council Fund supports these organisations by investing in projects that help them to expand, develop their volunteers or staff, buy equipment or to get expert advice and support which in turn helps the organisations thrive.

“I’m really pleased that the council recognises and values the role that community organisations play and, under difficult financial circumstances, is able to provide a grants programme that makes a real difference.”

Dorset Community Foundation, who administers the fund on behalf of Dorset County Council, reopened the fund for its seventh round on April 1, with the deadline for applications on June 30 at 1pm.

The Dorset County Council Fund is a small grant fund aimed at building the capacity of community organisations in Dorset.

For more information about the foundation please visit or contact Debbie Harris on 01202 292255.

THE fund has already awarded money to the following groups:

The Bridport & District CAB office was awarded £7,469 to employ a session supervisor who will be a point of contact and support on the day for any volunteers working in or out of the office, including those undertaking home visits.

Bridport & West Dorset Sports Trust Ltd got £7,500 to install various energy saving systems such as solar panels in order to reduce costs. The group provides recreational facilities and activities for the people of Bridport and West Dorset.

The Faircross Allotment Association in Weymouth got £7,221 to support costs for a disabled toilet facility.

Dorset Youth Association has been granted £7,500 to support the running costs of a project in Weymouth and Portland. It provides services to 6,000 young people across the county.