Just as with many things this year, it has been an unusual year for school building funding. Firstly, there was the delay to the announcements for CIF approved projects, followed only a few weeks later by an unprecedented announcement of further projects getting the green light.
Then, come the autumn, three different rounds of funding were all announced within weeks of each other!
Amongst all of this, you might be forgiven for losing track of what is and is not available. So here is a summary of the funding routes that eligible schools can apply for.
2021/22 Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)
The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is one of the main routes for obtaining funding for a variety of different projects, taking place on an annual basis. Applications can be submit for improvement, building and repair works at academies and sixth form colleges across England and Wales. There is also a smaller pot of funding available for expansion projects, although these must meet certain criteria.
Deadline for submitting applications – Thursday 14th January 2021.
Salix Energy Efficiency Funding (SEEF)
This scheme run by Salix in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) is aimed at reducing energy usage and bills via the installation of energy-efficient technologies.
Salix funding is open to individual academies, academy sixth forms, free schools, and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) in England.
Deadline for submitting applications – 11th January 2021.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
This is a new grant scheme for public sector organisations that was launched by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The scheme that will allow schools to obtain grants for improving energy efficiency on their premises.
Eligible projects include the likes of boiler / heating replacement – e.g. replacing old oil or gas boilers with air source or ground source heating systems, the installation of PV Solar panels, and upgrades to single glazing and thermal insulation.
Deadline for submitting applications – Monday 11th January 2021.
Urgent Capital Support
With the deadlines being tight for the current funding routes, schools with an urgent need may wish to consider Urgent Capital Support, which is eligible all year round. Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is available for academies and sixth-form colleges that are eligible for the main Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) round where there is genuine need for support that cannot wait till the next main CIF funding round. Government guidance states that the funding is for projects that address urgent building condition issues that either put the safety of pupils and staff at risk, or threaten the closure of the whole or a significant part of the school.
For help or advice from Lea Hough’s School Building Consultants in relation to any of the above funding schemes, or to speak to our education team about any other matter, please get in touch.