How to produce a winning Condition Improvement Fund application for educational establishments


If you’re involved in the maintenance of educational buildings, you’ll be aware that you can apply to the government for funds to assist you. Our short guide will outline the information you need to help increase your chances of a successful application.

What is the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)?

The CIF is a fund to which academies and sixth-form colleges can apply if they need help maintaining their buildings. Priority is given to those in which health & safety, poor building condition and building compliance requires attention. In some instances, CIF can also be applied for if colleges and academies need to expand.

The deadline to register for funds which will be allocated in 2017 is 30 November 2016, and applications must be submitted by 9 December 2016.

Applications must be made through the CIF portal, which can be found on the government’s website. Comprehensive guidance is also available on the site. We provide expert free help with CIF bids.

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Who can apply?

Applications can be made by single academy trusts, small multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges. If you are considering applying for CIF you must demonstrate that your educational establishment has a pressing requirement for additional funds. The areas which are likely to receive priority include Health & Safety issues, safeguarding needs, asbestos removal, works involving fire safety, leaky roofs, cladding or windows, and heating and hot water systems. Academies or colleges wishing to apply for funds to extend can do so on the grounds of needing additional kitchen or dining, sports or science/technology facilities.

Making your application

For your application to be successful it is important that it meets the qualification criteria precisely. Projects are scored against 3 assessment criteria; need (70%), planning (15%) and value for money (15%). The assessors will review each application based on the information supplied, which is why it is essential that applicants seek professional help in obtaining supporting documentation such as a building condition survey or a Property Data Survey (PDS).

These surveys need to be carried out by an independent suitably qualified professional surveyor who will rate the condition grade of the building and estimate its priority rating. This survey will outline the physical condition of the building and identify both maintenance issues as well as any apparent deficiencies. It should include the building’s structure and condition both internal and external, its fabric, electrics, plumbing, fire protection, sewerage and drainage, as well as highlighting any asbestos present. It should conclude with an assessment of the consequence of any delay in repair or refurbishment.

The CIF pot is limited, and many of those who apply for funding will not receive it. To maximise your chances of making a successful application, therefore, it is important that applicants seek the assistance of a RICS-qualified surveyor who can prepare professional and independent documentation.

If you require assistance in applying for funding under the CIF or would like to appeal against a decision, talk to a member of our team. We have experience of assisting in many successful CIF applications and can offer you timely and targeted advice.

We provide expert free help with CIF bids.

Find out more about Condition Improvement Fund or complete the form below and one of our experts will be in touch.

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Written by: Joseph Fitzsimmons on Monday 07/11/2016