With a strong reputation and several years of experience working within the education sector, Lea Hough has forged a role as one of Lancashire’s leading School Building Consultants.
As Chartered Surveyors and School Building Consultants, our role involves advising schools on all building matters including repairs and maintenance, refurbishment, alterations and extensions in order to meet a set level of condition, suitability and sufficiency of a school’s premises.
Here we look at some of the main ways in which the schools and academy trusts we act for benefit from working with us.
Knowledge of funding
The main way in which we initially begin working with a new school or academy trust is where we are contacted regarding accessing funding. We regularly support schools with CIF funding applications, alongside applications to SALIX for Energy Efficiency Funding and applications for emergency repair works.
A significant benefit of working with a Consultant who has experience in the education sector is knowledge of these funding sources, as there are often several routes to obtaining funding for school building and maintenance works announced each year. School Building Consultants working actively in the education sector will be able to advise on the various funding streams, helping to identify the most appropriate. We will also be able to undertake the application process on the school’s behalf, therefore reducing the administrative burden on the school itself.
Increased chances of funding application success
Preparing and submitting bids for funding for school building works is not a quick or straightforward process.
Having prepared bids for multiple academy schools and sixth form colleges over several years, we have fine-tuned our approach to bid submissions. The knowledge we have gained from working within the framework of various funding bodies over the years means we know the best way in which to approach bids, including being sure to include all of the detail and evidence that is required in the application process.
Being privy to the bid submissions and feedback received by many schools each and every year, we gain further insight during each round of funding – particularly on how the funding bodies concerned assess, score and rank bids.
All of this means we are able to create bids that are more likely to meet the funding criteria, therefore improving the chances of success.
Developing a long-term plan
Many of the schools we work with on funding bids or one-off projects will become repeat clients. The benefit of this is that we can develop a closer relationship with the school, using our knowledge to help put in place a longer-term plan for maintaining and developing the school’s buildings.
As well as helping to put in place a 3 or 5 year plan, which can be used to prioritise both ‘condition’ and ‘development’ building projects and help the school’s governors to budget for works accordingly, working closely with a School Building Consultant means that schools will be first in the know (and in the queue!) if any new funding sources are released. With budgets often being tight yet with repair and improvement works being required on a constant basis, this can significantly help schools to manage their budgets in the area of site maintenance.
Contact Lea Hough
Lea Hough’s team have a wealth of skills and experience of working in the education sector. Led by building surveying partners, Paul Dignan and Michael Harrison, both of whom have over 20 years of experience of working with the education sector, our team provide cost effective, deliverable and practical solutions to building issues.
For more information about any of our services to the education sector, please get in touch.