Funding of £865,000 for Dorset voluntary groups

An £865,000 community fund has been made available for Dorset voluntary groups and organisations.

Individual grants worth up to £7,500 are available, with money also on offer to parish and town councils.

However, funding is not available to groups in Bournemouth or Poole unless it will benefit the whole of Dorset.

Eligibility for the county council grants will be determined by Dorset's Community Foundation, with the first handouts being given in 2012.

Funding is available under a series of guidelines, for example money can only be used to fund individual projects, which must have a start and finish date.

The money pledged by Dorset County Council will be distributed over a two-and-a-half-year period.

The council, in partnership with NHS Dorset, is also funding Dorset Community Action and the Volunteer Centre Dorset to provide training, funding advice and support to voluntary and community groups.

Tina Baker, chief executive of Dorset Community Foundation, said: "The new funding programme will provide much needed support to local communities, and will have a positive impact on many people's lives."

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