Following £1 million invested in the initial Opportunity Areas as part of The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2016, we will target another £1 million in the Government’s new Opportunity Areas this year.

The areas, identified by the Social Mobility Index, are:

  • Bradford
  • Doncaster
  • Fenland & East Cambridgeshire
  • Hastings
  • Ipswich
  • Stoke-on-Trent

Funding will be invested in programmes that can demonstrate their effectiveness in working with the young people in greatest need of support. This funding will give young people in school or college in the Opportunity Areas a chance to access encounters with an employer.

We will continue with the rate card approach, giving schools and colleges the power to choose services that will work best in their community and address gaps in their careers and enterprise activity. Our fund prospectus explains this process in more detail.

Applying to the fund


To be eligible for the fund, programmes must target young people in one of the Opportunity Areas. Funding must be used to support young people in years 7-13 at school or college.

Your programme must have an established record of impact and you must be able to start delivery in an opportunity in the 2017/18 academic year. Our prospectus (section 3.2) has the full list of eligibility criteria.


Please read our prospectus carefully before preparing and submitting your application. Local priority information is available for each of the Opportunity Areas, along with an application guidance video to help with the process.

Download prospectus

Opportunity Areas local priority information

Application guidance video

Application process

stages of the application process

31 October 2017 Download application documents and start preparing your application
20 November 2017 The application submission process will open
8 December 2017 The submission process will close at 3pm
12 January 2018 Shortlist announced, applicants are interviewed and provide further information
2 March 2018
Successful applications are announced

Submit application  Download application forms


We will hold two online webinars to answer questions about the fund. Please sign up on Eventbrite.

Drop-in sessions

Drop-in sessions will be held in collaboration with Local Enterprise Partnerships in each of the Opportunity Areas, for anyone interested in applying to meet us for an informal chat about the fund.

Please register your interest and time slot for your region (links will become available as dates are confirmed).

Contact us

Applicants can ask us questions or request other drop-in sessions by contacting the team at

Please ask your questions early so we have time to help everyone. Unfortunately we can’t guarantee to answer any questions received after 5pm on Wednesday 6 December 2017.