Dorset LEP - Business focused activities - PKF Francis Clark
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Dorset LEP – Business focused activities

I thought I would write a piece on the business focused activities which the Dorset LEP is engaged in –to give the business community a better understanding of what LEPs are doing right now.

I agree with colleagues who have blogged recently on the shape of grant funding at the moment, that the LEPs are likely to be the conduit for government funding in the following months. I would add though that the Dorset LEP is thinking much more broadly than just government grants in terms of encouraging investment in businesses in the region.

A vision for the future

Dorset Horizon 2038, in place since 2018, is a vision of the future, which has shaped Dorset LEP’s investment decisions. Their aim is “to build a more productive, innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy”. Whilst these strategic goals will not dramatically deviate from this, it is likely that the roadmap in how the LEP work towards these objectives will continue to be flexible.

This is important as this roadmap will also lay the foundations for the industry sectors that the LEP will focus on.

Currently live and coming soon…

Below is a summary of Dorset LEP’s ongoing activities and in the pipeline which could be of interest to businesses based in the region or looking to be based in the region.


Initiative Overview
Dorset Investment Prospectus


Dorset LEP is developing an Investment Prospectus for Dorset, an investment portfolio that will really make investors sit up and discover the opportunities Dorset has to offer. To ensure the Dorset Investment Prospectus has the best possible investment portfolio, they’re asking Dorset’s future-looking organisations to help us establish the big ideas that have the potential to become reality and really make a difference in the next 10 years. They are looking for great investment ideas which may, or may not, require additional funds. They are particularly interested in opportunities of at least £1 million total value (we are not capping an upper ceiling) and which align with our aims for Dorset and focus on:

  • The Dorset Lifestyle
  • Inspired thinking
  • Naturally creative
  • Enabling business
  • A role model for recovery.

Find out more and complete the pro forma at

Dorset Gateway


Business Growth Hub fully funded by the Dorset LEP.

Its main ongoing support functions have been the provision of:

Custom brokerage service: sourcing funding in the form of grants and loans and additional business support such as external mentors.  This includes assistance with funding available via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

Bid writing support service: enabling businesses access to funding in order to grow.

In response to Covid-19, Dorset LEP has received funding for:

  • Resilience webinars (series now complete)
  • One to one meetings through partnerships
  • Research activity – The LLP is taking feedback from its partners and local business community to feed back to Government on ongoing support requirements for Dorset.

Peer networks: An opportunity for Dorset businesses to come together and work collaboratively as part of the Peer Networks Programme.

Register here

Crowdfund Dorset Business


Dorset LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) is offering existing micro and small businesses the opportunity to receive grant funding to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crowdfund Dorset LEP is an open call for projects that can demonstrate how they will help a business cope with current challenging trading conditions. There is a maximum pledge of £5,000 per project (depending upon the size of the business) contributing up to 50% towards the total crowdfund target.

COMING-UP – Growth Through International Trade


Dorset Gateway, Dorset LEP’s growth hub delivered in partnership with Dorset Chamber, is increasing the support currently offered to Dorset’s businesses to help them prepare for these changes. In addition to the information, advice and signposting already on offer, the increased support includes access to a specialist adviser to help businesses understand, navigate and answer questions. This also builds on the international trade support already provided by Dorset Chamber.

A fully-funded customs declaration support service is now also available to support up to 200 businesses. This service is available to those currently exporting so they can continue to do so after the transition period is over. Additionally, Dorset Gateway aims to support at least 40 businesses looking to become first-time exporters.

To find out more about the service and how to apply for support, visit Dorset LEP’s website.


PKF Francis Clark

PKF Francis Clark have partnered with the LEP to assist them in the delivery of some of their programmes and wider business engagement activity, so we will be keeping in touch with them regularly.  I would recommend that you also keep up to date on developments within your local LEP and, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your usual point of contact at PKF Francis Clark


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