The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is a fund controlled by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The aim of CIF is to allow academies and sixth-form colleges to improve their properties. Projects that CIF can cover are varied, consisting of health and safety, expansion, security, maintenance, efficiency and more. Many of these institutions will want to work on multiple CIF projects at once, as these can all be very important in their own ways.
Unfortunately, they may have to prioritise one aspect over another, as you can only apply for two projects at a time via CIF. Also, if your plans include expansion, you can only actually apply for one project. This is due to expansions being low on the priority order when it comes to helping fund projects.
This isn’t to say that expansion projects are unlikely to be funded, as projects that Munday + Cramer help apply for have a very high success rate. This is especially true when it comes to expansion projects that will help improve the other areas that CIF helps to fund. For example, an expansion could help with health and safety by reducing crowded areas.
How to apply for more than one CIF project
If you are looking to apply for multiple CIF projects, you will have to submit them as two separate applications through the CIF portal. Each application will be assessed independently, so the outcome of one should not affect the other. Many institutions successfully receive funding for multiple CIF projects each year. The key is to ensure that each project and application works as a standalone project, with its own merits, and doesn’t rely on the other project to be viable.
Applications will primarily be judged on how much the project is needed. This will be based on a condition survey and supporting evidence. CIF will particularly look to fund projects that have urgent requirements, such as the need to remove asbestos, or the safety of HVAC systems.
They will then also be judged on the plan to deal with the problem and the costs involved. It is very important that these are both feasible and appropriate. To ensure this is the case, experts should provide quotes to deal with the project, which you can share with the assessors as supporting evidence.
How to increase your chances of securing funding for multiple CIF projects
There are many factors that come into play when approaching an application for funding. Munday + Cramer have been helping apply for CIF projects for many years and are a leading expert in the field. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- A full assessment of your buildings and premises should be carried out. This will allow you to figure out what the priorities are and give you the best chance of creating an acceptable plan. Using a company with expertise is vital, as they will be able to carry out a condition survey that will look at everything in minute detail, especially ones that know what to look out for.
- The main focus of CIF is to allow facilities to provide education in an environment that is safe and appropriate. This means that assessors will prioritise projects in which the main aims are to increase the safety of the students and staff on the premises. This is why we say that projects with a focus on expansion should also include ways in which the project will increase health and safety aspects of the site.
- Plan and cost the project with experts. Creating a suitable plan and getting realistic costs and timeframes is vital for an applications success. If the assessor doesn’t believe that work will be completed in a timely manner and without further costs, the project will not be accepted.
For more information on how Munday + Cramer can help you in the process of applying for one or multiple CIF projects, or if you would like to find out more about our architectural services, operating in Essex, London, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, then get in touch! Contact Munday + Cramer today on 01245 326 200.