CIVIC officials have called for organisations to apply for a share of the Government's £220million Community Renewal Fund.

Organisations in the Dorset Council area can bid for up to £3million, providing its project can be delivered and completed by March 31, next year.

The fund is specifically for initiatives supporting people and communities.

Applications are being sought from voluntary and community organisations, umbrella business groups, universities and colleges, local councils and private sector organisations that provide services that benefit other organisations or individuals.

Dorset Council councillor Tony Ferrari said: “We welcome this opportunity from government as part of the national levelling up agenda, and also helping recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Community Renewal Fund could directly benefit many people in our local economy and communities.

"Local insights for supporting communities and growing Dorset’s local economy will be crucial in being awarded the funding.

"We all want to see a greener and more prosperous Dorset come out of the ashes of the pandemic.”

Applicants are being urged to can put forward potential projects which align with one, or deliver across several, of the following investment priorities:

• Investment in skills

• Investment for local business

• Investment in communities and place

• Supporting people into employment

A Dorset Council spokesman said: "Projects should show how they complement other national and local provision and refer to local insight and knowledge.

"Projects will need to demonstrate how they fit with long-term strategic plans for growth.

"Applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000 + where this is possible), although there is no minimum bid size.

"The grant is 90 per cent revenue funding.

Bids need to be submitted to Dorset Council by Ma 21. The council will then appraise and prioritise a shortlist of projects to submit to government.

The UK government will assess all bids submitted by lead authorities against the criteria set out in the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22.

Successful projects will be announced by the government from late July 2021 onwards.