A new round of the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) has been announced by the Department for Education (DfE), with over £400 million available for improvement, building and repair works at academies and sixth form colleges across England and Wales. As one of the region’s leading consultants in this area of funding, Lea Hough are encouraging eligible schools to get in touch to discuss potential projects as soon as possible.
Following the year’s events, the announcement regarding the funding has come much later than usual this year; with the normal timeframes for applications also being adjusted. This year’s round is now officially open, with deadline for submissions being moved to the start of 2021.
The condition improvement fund is one of the biggest single pots of funding available for academy schools and sixth form colleges and therefore represents a significant opportunity for schools to boost their budgets for upgrade and maintenance works.
The CIF is always oversubscribed, with the criteria on which bids are assessed getting tighter each year. After what has been a difficult year for schools, with budgets being pulled in many directions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, competition for this year’s CIF fund is set to be higher than ever before.
The timeline for this year’s funding is as follows:
Registration deadline for new applicants – 10 December 2020
Deadline for submitting applications – 14 January 2021
Date for notifying applicants of outcomes – Spring 2021
In order to position themselves with the best chance of obtaining funding, eligible academy schools, multi academy trusts and sixth form colleges will need to pay close attention to the criteria and align their bids accordingly.
As specialists in the education sector, Lea Hough are already working with a number of academy schools and sixth form colleges across the North West to prepare bids. Our school building consultants have a proven track record of success in obtaining CIF funding for our clients, with over £27 million having been obtained over recent years via this funding route for projects in Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester. The most recent round of funding in 2020/21 saw an extremely high success rate on the applications we managed, with £11 million in funding secured.
For more information about the 2021 – 2022 CIF funding round, or to speak to one of our school building consultants to arrange a free of charge site appraisal, please get in touch.