23 October 2023

£2m Growing Places Fund now available to help boost Dorset businesses

£2m Growing Places Fund now available to help boost Dorset businesses


Applications are now open for Dorset SME businesses looking for finance of upwards of £250k for investment in capital projects.

Dorset LEP welcomes applications for Growing Places Fund loans from private sector businesses and organisations operating in Dorset. The Growing Places Fund offers short-term (maximum 5 years) repayable loans for Dorset-based businesses and organisations. The loans are specifically for capital investment projects with a sound business plan and securitisation that can demonstrate tangible economic outcomes. For example, an expected increase in innovation or productivity,  or the creation of jobs or housing.  The total fund available in this round is £2m, with a minimum loan of £250k available.

Commenting on the Growing Places Fund Vinita Nawathe, Executive Director of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership says…

“The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes applications from Dorset SMEs or other organisations who are seeking finance for capital projects that will bring economic benefit to the Dorset area. Our rolling loan scheme has provided £17.9m of funding over 13 projects since its first launch. We are excited to be re-opening the scheme for  this round of investment.”

Application and selection

  • Applications are now open and close on 15 December 2023.
  • The application and selection process is designed to be a simple and straightforward two-stage process, allowing Dorset LEP to undertake robust appraisal and due diligence.
  • Criteria for applications can be found in the Growing Places Fund prospectus. A key criterion is that the funded project delivers benefits within the Dorset County area.

Background on Growing Places Fund

  • The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership first secured funding of £9.7m in 2016 from central government’s Growing Places Fund.
  • Since then, as part of rolling loan scheme, £17.9m has been invested in direct support for Dorset businesses.  To date a total of 13 projects have received Growing Places Funding. These can be seen on our website.
  • Funded projects vary significantly in terms of scale and sector, but all help to increase innovation and productivity and create jobs, infrastructure and housing that support the growth of the local economy.
  • Dorset LEP manages the fund with support from Dorset Council, ensuring financial and legal requirements are met. Info on the application process. Closing date for applications is 15 December 2023.

To find out more about the Dorset Local Enterprise Growing Places Fund please take a look at the Growing Places Fund prospectus

Any Questions? Please email: dorsetlep@bournemouth.ac.uk

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