One-off grants are available to support good causes in many communities around Dorset – through your local county councillor. All 45 members of the council can access a budget of up to £5,000 to aid projects, activities or initiatives in their electoral divisions.

While some councillors have already used some or all of their funds – more than £104,000 has been given out since the scheme was introduced last April – there is still money available until the end of March.

And local residents are being urged to come up with ideas about how the cash can best be spent.

The funds must be used to improve the economic, environmental or social well-being of the area.

A maximum of £1,000 can be carried forward to the next financial year if unspent – but the money cannot be used to support the same events or activities, year after year.

Grants have so far met a range of local needs, ranging from new fingerpost signs and village bench repairs to extra equipment for schools, playgroups and special needs groups.

Cllr Robert Gould, leader of the council, said the money provided real ‘grass-roots’ support to local communities.

He explained: “Our councillors know what is important to people in their areas better than anyone, and this fund allows them to target money to the local projects and facilities where it is needed the most.

“The budgets can be used in all kinds of ways, from repairs to a village hall to support for a community initiative or voluntary group.

“If you could make use of such a grant, contact your local county councillor and your idea will be considered.”

The scheme will be reviewed at the end of the financial year.

For more details, and a list of the grant money spent to date, go to To find contact details for your local councillor, go to or call 01305 221000.