WE OFFER FREE, EXPERT HELP WITH
EVERY STAGE OF THE CIF PROCESS.

EDDISONS HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESSFULLY SUPPORTING SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND MULTI-ACADEMY TRUSTS, ALL OVER THE UK, WITH CONDITION IMPROVEMENT FUNDING APPLICATIONS. 

WHAT IS CIF FUNDING?

CIF stands for Condition Improvement Fund. It is a budget, created by the government, to help academic buildings remain in a good condition.

Each year schools, academies, and sixth form colleges bid for capital funding. Funding is given for projects such as heating, lighting and safeguarding. It is also used to support expansion projects where schools are over-subscribed. Although for this, they must be rated Outstanding or Good by Ofsted.

The Condition Improvement Fund is there to help with significant requirements. These are requirements that are considered vital to the smooth running and safety of schools. Typically, this includes keeping them warm, dry and safe. As such CIF applications normally include roofs, windows, heating, fire-safety, asbestos removal and fencing. Much of these projects would be too expensive for a school or multi-academy trust to bear alone.

There are three basic stages to the CIF Application:

Eddisons can help with any of these stages. You can use the links below links to see how we can help:

STEP 1. CURRENT CONDITION SURVEYS

As we’ve mentioned above, the Government’s guidelines state that applications need a condition survey. And that it should be carried out by an independent suitably qualified person. We have no doubt that the people who run the institutions are the ones that know it best. However it is a requirement that a third-party, like Eddisons, carry out a survey for you. 

We’ve found that this can have some benefits for the schools and colleges that they might not expect. 

Trained professionals may spot smaller, yet more serious issues. The size of a condition issue isn’t proportionate to how serious it is. It’s easy to see how some issues, like missing fencing or wind-battered roofing, are serious issues. But, other requirements, especially mechanical & electrical faults, are small and hard to spot but they can cause critical problems including fire, freezing or flooding. 

We’re also experts at identifying which issues are most likely to secure funding. So, even though something might not be your top priority, we can help you secure funding for urgent issues that might divert your budget away from your main focus.

Talk to us about getting an up to date condition survey > 

STEP 2. WRITING THE APPLICATION

This is where Eddisons can probably help the most. We know that you and your leadership team are busy providing education. A CIF application can seem like an extra piece of work that you simply don’t have time for. Which is why, we’ll write the application for you. 

We’ve studied what makes a successful funding application and we have a department dedicated to CIF applications. We don’t charge for writing or submitting the application, under the agreement that if/when we secure the funding for your project, you use Eddisons to oversee the project delivery. If, for whatever reason, you’re unsuccessful there are no associated fees. Instead, if we think there is cause to appeal, we’ll also do that free of charge. 

Talk to us about writing your application >

STEP 3. CIF OUTCOMES & PROJECT DELIVERY

Once a year, The Department for Education contacts the successful applicants and publishes the outcomes; listing those who have been successful. In the 2020/21 outcomes, 1,476 projects received funding. Further funding was made available for another 580 projects that narrowly missed the threshold. Following that, a further 48 projects received funding following appeal. 

If/when your project receives funding you’ll need to start the delivery stage of the process. This includes gathering estimates, securing suppliers and project managing the works; keeping them on time and on budget. 

Whether Eddisons wrote your application or not, we can help with the design and implementation of your improvements so you can focus on your education priorities. 

Talk to us about project managing your works >

WHY CHOOSE EDDISONS FOR YOUR CIF SUPPORT?

Over £80 Million in secured funding

Over many years we have built a reputation as a trusted partner for academies and multi-academy trusts looking to apply to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). In 2020/21 we obtained over £40m for our clients for projects such as roofing works, replacement windows, safeguarding, fire safety, heating upgrade works and electrical safety.

Experience with the right people

We have a track record of providing free expert advice and bid submission for Business Managers, Finance Directors, CEOs and Estates Managers, ensuring that their CIF submissions are realistic, robust and meet the criteria set out in the CIF guidelines.

Applications experience

Eddisons has written a wide variety of applications, including substantial evidence and project outline and costs. We have unrivalled experience in all aspects of school capital works and related funding meaning that your bid is complete with every aspect of information.  All of this help improve your chances of CIF funding by 

National Presence, local touch

We have offices all over the UK meaning that you have an education expert with local knowledge close by at all times

Honest & free

We will always be completely honest with you about the likelihood of success of your bids as well as the condition of your estates. We do not make a charge for bid writing so you know that any bid submitted by us is a good candidate for funding.

Dedicated staff

All Eddisons staff are full time employees, we never use agency staff. With Eddisons you will always have a dedicated surveyor working with you on your bids. They will be contactable directly by mobile phone and will not only write your bid for you but will subsequently deliver your project once funds have been secured and the ongoing relationship. With a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of CIF funding they will be able to help and advise on every question you might have, from whether a project is viable to how to go about funding the school/trust contribution to the work required.


We believe that our superior service levels, outstanding client relationships and long term clients speak for themselves. We encourage any potential clients to approach any of our existing school and multi-academy trust customers for testimonials.

Talk to us about your CIF plans >

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS CIF?

WHAT IS CIF?

CIF is the acronym for Condition Improvement Fund and is a yearly bidding round for academies, multi-academy trusts and sixth form colleges for capital project funding. It was created to assist in ensuring school, college and trust buildings remain safe, secure and in good condition. It is also used to support a number of expansion projects where schools are over subscribed and are rated Outstanding or Good by Ofsted.

Read the Government’s Guidance on Condition Improvement Funding.

WHY IS CIF IMPORTANT?

WHY IS CIF IMPORTANT?

Condition Improvement Fund is important because it ensures that school buildings are kept in a safe and working condition. It addresses significant requirements for improvement which are vitally important to the smooth running and safety of schools. This includes keeping them warm (heating, windows, roofing), dry (roofing, windows) and safe (fire safety, asbestos removal, safeguarding the perimeter, M&E). Much of the costs of these projects would be too high for a school or multi-academy trust to bear alone.

CAN I APPLY FOR CIF FUNDING?

CAN I APPLY FOR CIF FUNDING?

Eligibility for CIF funding is only formally announced in October of the year of the funding round but is generally any school or multi-academy trust with under 3000 pupils and 5 schools. Trusts with more than 5 schools can be eligible if they have fewer than 3000 pupils, but if they have under 5 schools and are over 3000 pupils they will not qualify.

Numbers of pupils are based on the figures at the Spring census of that year.  Schools who have not yet converted but who have a signed academy order by the 1st September in the year of application can apply, on condition that they convert by the 1st April following.

More recently non-diocesan Voluntary Aided (VA) schools have also been included in the eligibility rules for CIF.

WHAT IS URGENT CAPITAL SUPPORT?

WHAT IS URGENT CAPITAL SUPPORT?

Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is for any schools who are eligible for CIF and have been identified as having urgent building condition issues (e.g. fire safety where an inspection has identified that the school will have to be closed if work is not undertaken immediately). These types of conditions are those that may put pupils and staff at risk or threaten imminent closure of the school.

UCS bids can be submitted at any time during the year.

WHAT IF WE HAVE AN UNSUCCESSFUL CIF APPLICATION?

WHAT IF WE HAVE AN UNSUCCESSFUL CIF APPLICATION?

If a CIF bid is unsuccessful there is an appeals process open to schools and multi-academy trusts (subject to available funding). Bids can be resubmitted, but cannot be added to in any way.

Appeals will only be considered where there is clear demonstration that the ESFA made a material error in the application assessment which resulted in the application not meeting the criteria for success. An example of this could be that the feedback states that 3 quotes were not included from contractors for procurement purposes but in fact they were.

It is best to only appeal an unsuccessful application if the score was very close to the threshold mark as only these are likely to be successful.

WHAT CIF SERVICES DO EDDISONS PROVIDE?

WHAT CIF SERVICES DO EDDISONS PROVIDE?

  • Condition Surveys: Our team of specialist surveyors work with you by conducting a full inspection and discussing the priorities that will be highlighted in your CIF application
  • Bid Writing: We prepare survey reports and bid writing services free of charge for CIF bid applications to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • Project Management: If successful, we can offer a variety of services, from consultancy of the project, to contract management, and cost administration
HOW MUCH DO CIF SERVICES COST?

HOW MUCH DO CIF SERVICES COST?

  • Condition Surveys: You should budget between £1,000 and £3,000 for a full condition survey. The price will depend on the size and complexity of the property. Bear in mind that you’ll need to instruct  a condition survey whether or not you apply for condition improvement funding. You’ll need to check with your LEA but a rough guide is a full condition survey every 2 years.
  • Bid writing: Eddisons prepare your survey reports and write your CIF Funding bid free of charge 
  • Bid submission: Eddisons will submit CIF bid applications to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) free of charge
  • Project Management: If successful, we can offer a variety of services, from consultancy of the project, to contract management, and cost administration
WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL CIF BID?

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL CF BID?

The scoring system is aimed to give priority to the schools with the greatest needs. However we do feel that their is a bid strategy that can increase your chances of being successful. Read more about our insights into CIF Outcomes.

Talk to us about CIF

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“Through technical excellence and a commercial mind-set, we provide practical property solutions for clients that deliver real value.”

IAN HARRINGTON
Partner

Our work with schools, colleges and academies

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Academy Trust Sunderland Extension

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Brighouse High School Refurbishment

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Building Consultancy For Armthorpe Academy

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Building Consultancy for Yarborough Academy

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Consultancy For Brambles Academy

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Consultancy for Othery Village School

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Consultancy for Rydal Academy

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Joseph Swan Academy

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Parkside Academy Refurbishment

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Reinstatement Cost Assessment for Liverpool Hope University

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Riverside Primary Academy improvement works

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Woldgate School Roof Replacement