CIF Countdown – Advice for Academy Schools

BLOG: CIF Countdown – Advice for Academy Schools

October is upon us which means an announcement about a new round of funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) Condition Improvement Fund is likely to be just around the corner.

The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding round under which academies and multi academy trusts and sixth form colleges can apply for capital funding. The primary objective for the CIF is to ensure that school buildings are safe and in good working order, and each year the government announces a new fund for which applications for grants can be made.

Over the past few years, an announcement regarding the launch of a new fund has come in the second half of October, with the deadline for applications falling in early December. Although the deadline may seem far away, if your academy is considering making a bid for CIF funding, our advice is to start the process as soon as possible.

Lea Hough has been specialising in this area for a number of years and we have a growing number of academy school clients. As part of our service, our team will come and visit your academy school to advise on all aspects of the Condition Improvement Fund application process. From there, we can help to identify suitable potential projects that would meet with the ESFA’s funding criteria. Our team will then prepare a thorough and comprehensive bid which encompasses the improvement priorities of your buildings.

From past experience, we know that the more time we have to carry out investigations, including building surveys, seeking quotations, tendering the works etc and thereafter prepare the bid documentation, the greater the chance of bid being successful.

The process of identifying and scoping out works, along with preparing and submitting a CIF bid is all carried out with no upfront fee.  Instead, our fees for the consultation and project managing successful bids is incorporated into the costings of the works.

Although the bidding process for CIF is highly competitive, Lea Hough has a strong track record of success and last year, our success rate for applications exceeded twice the national average.

For more information about our services in this area, or to have a chat about how we might be able to help secure funding for your academy school, please get in touch.



“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.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn