With the application deadline fast approaching, schools may be wondering how to maximise bids for the condition improvement fund in London. This capital funding is also commonly known as CIF. Eligible academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary-aided (VA) schools, can apply to ensure their buildings are in safe shape for students. In some cases, funding may be allocated for expansion projects. As you can imagine, it’s a competitive process and further professional advice is required to bolster your bid.
Strategies for a Successful Bid for the Condition Improvement Fund in London
Earlier this year, the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) published information for the 2024-2025 round of CIF funding. This guidance is comprehensive and underscores the key details applicants should consider. For example, who can apply, project eligibility, the application process, and assessment criteria.
In terms of preparing an application, the guidance emphasises applicants should clearly convey the building’s issues that need to be addressed. Supporting evidence in the form of detailed technical reports and surveys must also be provided. What else should schools consider when drafting a CIF application? As outlined in ESFA’s guidance, a good application should include the following:
- Clear application that is focussed
- Independent evidence
- Considered options
- Thorough costings
- Comprehensive planning
Optimising Educational Environments: A Case Study
As mentioned above, obtaining expert advice is essential when applying for CIF funding. Munday + Cramer’s team have helped various educational facilities successfully apply for the condition improvement fund in London. One such example is St Peter and St Paul Catholic Primary Academy in Orpington.
Built in the 1960s, the school’s cold water distribution system urgently needed an upgrade as it was deteriorating. Alongside maintenance issues, there was a health and safety risk due to corroded pipework making it difficult to control the risk of Legionella. Moreover, system inefficiencies were leading to high energy costs for the school.
We supported the school’s bid preparation by collating the necessary technical evidence to support the case, including:
- Assessing the asset management plans, planned maintenance schedules, and the national property data survey
- Recalling servicing reports and maintenance logs
- Carrying out a detailed specialist survey
Through a thorough options appraisal, we pinpointed that a new cold water distribution system was the most suitable course of action. Following a successful CIF bid, we managed the project to vastly improve the system with the following:
- New mains supply
- Point-of-use water heaters in all classrooms, WCs, and the staff room
- Dedicated new hot water plant for the kitchen
- New, fully insulated pipework
- Enabling works included asbestos removal from the plant room
- New metered supply for the on-site Diocese’s Education Commission
Enhancing the school’s facilities would have a positive environmental effect. We estimate about 68% of the old system’s energy cost will be saved as well as nearly six tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Are you an education provider looking to apply for the condition improvement fund in London? Our team at Munday + Cramer can help to support your case and put your application in the best position possible for a successful bid. You can reach out to us here or call us on 01245 326 200.