CHARITIES are being offered the chance to bag funding through the Dorset Echo.

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc, owner of Newsquest Media Group. The company publishes the Dorset Echo and other local newspapers, websites and magazines across the UK.

It supports charities in the areas in which it publishes newspapers and websites that take a creative approach to issues such as education and neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth development, problem-solving in their areas, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

Applications of any size or ambition are invited, but are typically for projects that require and merit awards of between £5,000 and £10,000. However, more modest applications will also be considered.

The Foundation will favour projects that demonstrate good planning, oversight and financial responsibility.

Toby Granville, group editor of the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, urged charities to lodge their entries.

He said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for charities to apply for a grant towards their ongoing good works and I would encourage local good causes to make the most of this opportunity.

“We value projects that bring lasting benefits to communities served by our local newspapers and websites.”

In previous years various local charities, including Weymouth Rowing Club, the Friends of the MV Freedom and Allsorts pre-school and clubs, have all received payments.

Allsorts group for Weymouth youngsters, which runs pre-school, afterschool and holiday clubs across various Weymouth schools, received a £5,000 for new outdoor play equipment in 2011.

Weymouth Rowing Club was able to install floating pontoons thanks to an £8,000 grant and the MV Freedom got £1,290 to help towards new communications equipment.

Other previous winners are: Dorset Search and Rescue (DorSAR), Dorset Youth Association for their Routes cafe bar and waterside Weymouth Community Forum.

To apply, simply fill in Gannett Foundation Application Form 2014.docx then send it along with supporting documents – including most recent financial accounts and the overall aims of the charity – to by 5pm on September 12 and must be clearly marked ‘Gannett Foundation grant’.