Grant Funding - Condition Improvement Funding (CIF)
Creating inspirational learning environments at academy schools

Lea Hough is a well-established practice of Chartered Surveyors. We have specialist experience in the educational sector and we act as Building Consultant for a number of schools and academies, throughout the North West of England, including Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria.

We have excellent knowledge of educational property, standards, funding systems and all building related matters. In particular, we have steadily built relationships with academy schools over a number years, mainly via recommendations. We assist academies in maintaining, improving and developing their premises.

Operating from our offices in Blackburn, Preston and Lancaster, we have significant experience of identifying funding opportunities and preparing funding applications for Academy Schools, through the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) applications to the EFA.


CIF 2020-21 Funding

We have a track record of successfully gaining substantial funding for a number of academies through the funding streams that are available for building maintenance and development.
In the past five years we have successfully obtained £17.5 million of grant funding through the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). Examples of successful CIF applications are listed overleaf.

The CIF 2020-21 is a great opportunity for academy schools can obtain funding from the EFA, for building projects, which may include repairs, refurbishments, upgrades, replacement of services, extensions, improvement projects, etc.

Each academy can submit two CIF bids each year. There is a significant emphasis on giving priority to projects that deal with “Condition” and maintenance of existing buildings, though money is also available for “Expansion” projects too.

Criteria needs to be met and competition is tough as the fund is three times oversubscribed. However, we have specialist knowledge and we have an excellent track record of obtaining funding. In the 2019-2020 funding round, we once again achieved great results and we have a busy summer holiday period in 2019 managing lots of projects at academies.

The vast majority of CIF bids that we submitted were approved by the EFA, resulting in £5.5 million of funding for academies that we represent locally. Although the fund was three times over-subscribed, we achieved a success rate of 81%.


Recent projects:

£685,000 for replacement central heating and hot water systems.

£626,000 for central heating and boiler replacement.

£472,000 for central heating and boiler replacement.

£400,000 for pitched roof replacement.

£374,000 for renewal of the central heating system.

£350,000 for renewal of flat roofs (Phase 2).

£316,000 for fire door replacement and fire safety works.

£303,000 for boiler replacement (Phase 2).

£254,000 for slate roofing works.

£200,000 for weathertightness improvements (roof and windows).

£167,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£154,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£152,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£150,000 for replacement of central heating boilers.

£123,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£115,000 for safeguarding improvements and fencing.

£105,000 for safeguarding improvements.

£94,000 for replacement of central heating boilers and hot water systems.

£87,000 for main entrance remodelling and safeguarding works.

£73,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£70,000 for flat roofing replacement.

£63,000 for flat roofing replacement.

£55,000 for emergency asbestos removal.

£51,000 for fire alarm replacement.

£50,000 for boundary fencing replacement.

What we can do for your academy

We offer to visit your academy and provide an initial free-of-charge, no obligation, consultation. We would be able to inspect the school buildings, discuss building works and provide advice regarding maintenance and development funding opportunities.

Then, once suitable funding bids are identified in line with CIF 2020-21 funding criteria, we would work with the Academy to prepare a tailored funding application to give the best chance of success.

Typically the EFA publish documentation in October inviting academies to bid for the CIF 2020-21, with applications to be submitted by early December. Our aim is to be prepared in advance, so that when bidding rounds are announced and funding criteria is published by the EFA, we are in a position to submit a bid proposal that best suits that particular criteria. In preparing funding applications, we fully assess the criteria in detail and tailor the application documentation to suit the specific requirements to ensure the best opportunity for the bid to be successful.

The bid preparation involves a lot of work and it is important that projects are identified in advance of this, surveys are undertaken and reports / costs etc, are obtained to support the applications. So it is important to act early – time is of the essence to ensure that an academy does not miss out on this opportunity to apply for CIF funding.

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“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

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