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We have provided answers to some common questions about Dorset LEP. If you would like to ask anything else please contact us.


What is a LEP?

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are entrusted with significant public funds to deliver economic growth and prosperity in their area on behalf of the government. LEPs work with businesses, local government, education institutions and other industry and community organisations to promote economic growth, attract investment, increase productivity and develop local industrial strategies.

What is the LEP Network?

There are 37 LEPs across England. The LEP Network enables LEPs to come together on areas of shared importance, engage with government and stakeholders, and promote best practice.

What geographical area is covered by Dorset LEP?

Dorset LEP operations cover the Dorset county area, from Lyme Regis to Christchurch and Portland to Gillingham. Coverage of this area means that Dorset LEP works with both BCP Council and Dorset Council.

Is Dorset LEP a company?

In 2011, Dorset LEP was formed and operated as a voluntary partnership between local authorities and local private sector businesses. In June 2016, Dorset LEP acquired the trading name ‘Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership CIC’, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company registration number 10246567.

Does Dorset LEP have a bank account?

Dorset LEP’s funding is held by our accountable body, Dorset Council.

LEPs are non-statutory bodies and as such require an accountable body to manage funding from government and other sources. An accountable body is a local authority appointed by a partnership to exercise on the partnership’s behalf.

Dorset LEP subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the public the right to request information held by public authorities. The act aims to ensure that public sector bodies are open and accountable.

LEPs are not formally subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

However, Dorset LEP is open and transparent in its working and will adhere to the principles of the Freedom of Information Act.

If you have any questions please contact us through the Dorset LEP website and you will receive a response.

How is Dorset LEP governed?

Dorset LEP is governed by a board of business leaders representing private and public sectors.

The current membership of the Dorset LEP Board Members is set out publicly.

Our governance structure reflects the vision and delivery of Dorset LEP.

How is Dorset LEP run?

The Dorset LEP core team is an independent secretariat that exists to support the Dorset LEP Board in the delivery of its strategic objectives. The Dorset LEP secretariat is employed by Bournemouth University and all staff are seconded to Dorset LEP (CIC) Ltd.

The core team is comprised of programme, strategy, communications, skills, careers and Dorset LEP Business staff who support local businesses in Dorset and work to inform our board members in allocation of funds. 

More information about the positions and responsibilities in relation to the role of Dorset LEP Staff in supporting Dorset LEP decision making is available.

What funding does Dorset LEP receive?

We have secured funding Dorset through competitive bids for central government and European Union allocations. We have secured the following for different funding streams:

  • Local Growth Fund (see 1 below)
  • Growing Places Fund (see 2 below)
  • Getting Building Fund (see 3 below)
  • Dorset LEP Business 
  • Dorset Innovation Park
  • Careers and Enterprise Company 
  • Digital Skills Hub, Boscombe

1.We have successfully secured a total of £98.5 million for Dorset through the government's Local Growth Deals to bring together local, national and private sector funding to unlock and unblock key housing and employment sites, create more highly skilled jobs, and support economic growth.

2.Dorset LEP has been awarded £9.7m from central government's Growing Places Fund to support innovation, productivity, housing and job creation in Dorset.

3. Dorset LEP successfully secured £11.8 million from the Government's £900 million Getting Building Fund which was set up to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country.

What is Dorset LEP's strategy?

Dorset LEP’s modern industrial vision is to double Dorset’s productivity and economic output to £35.6 billion over the next twenty years, generating 80,000 jobs, building around 78,000 new homes, and creating a local economy that is sustainable, innovative and inclusive.

Dorset LEP has produced a Local Industrial Strategy for Dorset as a direct response to the government’s National Industrial Strategy.

In December 2018, Dorset LEP published ‘Dorset Horizon 2038 – A Vision for Growth’. This document outlines our ambitions for Dorset’s economic growth over the next 20 years.

In 2020, Dorset LEP produced the Dorset Living Better Investment Prospectus for Dorset - an investment portfolio that will enable investors to easily discover the unique opportunities Dorset has to offer.

In 2021, Dorset LEP published the Dorset Low Carbon Investment Opportunities report which outlines investment opportunities to ensure Dorset reaches its goal of net zero by 2050.

Find our full Strategy & Plans.

What is Dorset LEP delivering this year?

Dorset LEP’s Delivery Plan sets out the activities that Dorset LEP will carry out in the 2024/25 financial year.

Dorset LEP will pursue emerging opportunities as they arise, and the delivery plan will be updated to reflect this. Dorset LEP is committed to reviewing the delivery plan on a bi-annual basis at a minimum.

What happens when there is a Conflict of Interest?

Dorset LEP has a Staff Conflict of Interest Policy which is published on the website. All Dorset LEP Board members must complete a Conflict of Interests form.

Dorset LEP publishes conflict of interest forms for both board and staff members. Each board member’s conflict of interest form can be found under their profile.

Board and staff members must take responsibility for ensuring that their Board Conflict of Interest form is up to date and the Dorset LEP Chair ensures compliance. Forms must be updated annually, or as soon as any new potential conflict of interest becomes known.

How does Dorset LEP make decisions about what to fund?

We follow strict procedures when making decisions relating to investment projects and programmes.

We are committed to ensuring the best possible value for money when investing public resources. A robust Decision Making and Due Diligence process has been put in place to provide clear and transparent guidance on how Dorset LEP projects are selected, appraised, approved, delivered and monitored.

How can I ask a question?

You can contact Dorset LEP through the:

What support does Dorset LEP offer to businesses?

Dorset LEP can offer local businesses support and funding opportunities. Dorset LEP Business provides workshops, training, bid writing and direction to finance. 
Dorset LEP Business is the central repository of information, advice and support for businesses within the county. The gateway offers businesses support services and signposting to the most appropriate local or national commercial or public funded assistance available to help them grow.
Dorset LEP Business provides an informed and bespoke service, free to any Dorset based businesses looking for help to source appropriate available solutions for growth and development.

What do I do if I have a complaint?

On our Contact Us page, we have a contact form where you can email us your enquiries/complaints at any time. This will come through to the inbox of our communications team and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

Dorset LEP also has a Complaints Policy which is available to view.

Where can I find agendas, papers and minutes from Dorset LEP Board meetings?

Information about Dorset LEP Board meetings, alongside agendas and minutes, are listed on our Board Papers, Meetings and Minutes page. This page is regularly updated with information regarding our next board meeting, and minutes and papers from previous meetings. We commit to the following timescales:

  • Meeting agendas and papers will be published five working days before the meeting takes place
  • Minutes of board meetings will be published within ten clear working days of the meeting

What projects has Dorset LEP completed?

On the Projects page, under completed projects, you can view all of our projects we are proud to have finalised.

Who do Dorset LEP work in partnership with?

We work with many different partners to promote our county and drive our economy. Our Dorset partners are listed on our Collaboration with local partners page. Our Regional partnerships page lists our regional and national partners.

How can I stay informed on the activities of Dorset LEP?

At the bottom of our home page you can sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with our latest news and events. You can follow Dorset LEP on LinkedIn.

What is an enterprise zone?

An enterprise zone is an area in which government incentives, such as tax concessions, are offered to encourage business investment.

Dorset Innovation Park, located outside of Wool, is Dorset’s only economic development site with enterprise zone status.

Dorset Innovation Park is developing as an advanced engineering cluster of excellence for the South West, building on its strengths in marine, defence, energy and cyber-security. Find out more about the site on our About Dorset Innovation Park page.

What is your annual budget?

We receive funding from central government through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities and the Department for Business and Trade, as well as local partners to support our day to day activities and delivery of our Strategic Economic Vision and Plan.

In addition to core programme funding received from Government, we receive further funding and investment from our partners including BCP Council and Dorset Council, providing a significant resource to support our work aimed at improving Dorset’s economy.

A record of our financial statements are available online.

Why do Dorset LEP staff have ‘’ in their email addresses?

Dorset LEP are based at Bournemouth University’s Talbot campus in Poole House. Staff are employed by Bournemouth University but are seconded to Dorset LEP. Therefore, email addresses will appear the same as university staff.

How can I request a letter of support from Dorset LEP?

If your organisation is seeking a letter of support the Dorset LEP Executive Team will consider, consulting with Board members, as necessary. Any letters of support will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please use the Formal request for support from Dorset LEP form and please email your completed form to