The deadline for applications to the latest round of CIF funding is fast approaching. Having already started to prepare bids for a number of academy schools across the North West, there are a number of key considerations to note for this year’s round of applications.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the recent focus on climate change and the government’s big push towards its carbon neutral target, this year, there is an emphasis on the reduction of carbon emissions – and consideration of alternative energy saving installations. However, Salix grants are no longer available for projects via the CIF fund.
Another significant change for this year is that the arrangement for making contributions has changed – applicants must now make a financial contribution of 30% if they wish to score maximum marks. Having doubled from 15% previously, this presents a dilemma for schools that may not have the funds available to stump up the 30% of costs. It may therefore be a balancing act of finding a sufficient level of funds but potentially missing out on maximum marks in this area of the bid. Schools in this position will need to increase their scoring potential by ensuring the other elements of the bid are strong and the bid is closely aligned with other criteria.
On this note, the scoring system has changed for the 2022/23 round.
The guidance around this year’s bids has reiterated that all supporting evidence must be independent and up to date. In particular, each school’s condition survey data should be no older than 3 years.
The CIF funding process is now demanding much more from schools at the bid stage than before. It is therefore more important that you seek the expertise and guidance of a School Building Consultant who has experience in making applications for CIF funding.
Working with existing academy school clients and new clients for this year, many of whom will be looking to submit the maximum 2 bids as allowed per funding round, we are now close to reaching a cut-off point for any further new academy schools, sixth form colleges or small MAT’s looking to engage a School Building Consultant. We could therefore urge those with an interest in seeking our expertise to get in touch as soon as possible.