We wish to see inland tourism in southern Dorset strengthened as a complement to coastal tourism; extending the tourist season, using the diverse heritage of the inland area to turn part-time, seasonal and low-paid employment into full-time and higher paid jobs. We will support individual projects and particularly sector based initiatives which are designed to serve one or both of these aims.

Types of projects we want to fund

Promote Rural Dorset. Projects to strengthen the promotion of the inland area, to extend the tourism season and to bring added value to the rural economy. Although our highest priority is inland tourism, we will consider projects based along the coast to support marine tourism. Accommodation projects although eligible are not a high priority and should not affect the supply of local housing.

Celebrate Rural Dorset. We will call for a project to enhance the research and development of high quality interpretation to our rural landscapes and high value natural and cultural heritage sites on land and sea, linked to innovative technology and the involvement of rural communities.

We will expect applicants to provide high quality visitor products and services that link tourism providers, demonstrate clear gaps in provision and provide evidence for market demand. We also expect applicants to refer to the recommendations of the Dorset Destination Management Plan in their application.

Download the Dorset Destination Management Plan (PDF, opens in new window/tab)


LAG Priority

Celebrate, conserve and add value to our special natural, historic and cultural heritage, Encourage collaboration and cooperative working

Leader Priority

Support for rural tourism

Funding Available

Minimum grant approximately £5,000 Maximum grant approximately £140,000 to cover 40-80% of the project’s eligible costs depending on whether the applicant is non-profit making or a commercial business

Who Can Apply?

New or existing rural based micro and small businesses, farm businesses that want to diversify, Community groups, groups of rural tourist businesses, local authorities and public-private partnerships.

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