Community groups have been invited to form partnerships with local authorities and secondary schools to apply for a share of £10m from a new government fund designed to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people.
Communities secretary Hazel Blears announced that 15 neighbourhood partnerships, which must involve at least one local third sector organisation, will receive grants of up to £450,000 each over the next two years as part of the Inspiring Communities initiative.
Areas that are given Inspiring Communities status will also be given advice on how to deliver locally conceived projects that encourage young people to "unlock their talent", the Communities and Local Government department said.
A community leader will be appointed in each neighbourhood to oversee the campaign.
"The communities where young people live should not hold them back; they should be the source of inspiration and practical support that will help them to achieve," said Blears. "This programme is about getting all the people in communities who want the very best for their children and for their area to work together to make the difference."
Inspiring Communities is a joint initiative between CLG, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Cabinet Office.
The deadline for applications is 3 June, and the 15 successful neighbourhoods will be announced within 12 weeks of the closing date.