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🕑 3 minutes read

If your school premises is in need of repair, renovation or expansion, you may be eligible for a grant from the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

The Condition Improvement Fund is a government scheme that provides funding for schools, academies and sixth-form colleges via an annual bidding round. Successful bidders receive a non-repayable grant to allow them to address significant areas of poor building condition. The fund also supports a small number of expansion projects for academies, sixth-form colleges and VA schools with an Ofsted rating of good or outstanding that can demonstrate a need to expand.

The aim of the fund is to keep school buildings safe and in good working order by funding projects that address significant building condition needs, health and safety issues, and non-compliance.

The criteria for the scheme changes each year, so if you have been unsuccessful in previous years and wish to re-apply it is important to familiarise yourself with the criteria to maximise your chance of a winning bid. For example, decarbonization is now actively scored within funding criteria.

When the bid window opens, £498 million will be made available for 1,405 projects amongst 1,129 Schools, Academies, and Sixth-Form Colleges.

Each eligible candidate is entitled to submit two bids per school. If managed strategically, then there is the ability to ‘bolt-on’ two bids where services align within the built environment.

Guidance for a compliant bid

  • A bid must clearly demonstrate a project need, clear project planning and thoroughly detailed project costings
  • A bid must be relevant and detail the latest Condition Data Collection (CDC) data, Decarbonisation Plan (where appropriate), Sustainability Strategy, and Good Estates Management Strategy (GEMS).
  • A financial contribution from the School/Academy/Sixth-form College is crucial.
  • Bids are determined by their project need, for example, an Electrical Safety Scheme would be deemed of ‘highest’ need whereas accessibility improvements would be deemed of a ‘lowest’ need (the scale is highest to lowest).

How was the 2022/2023 funding allocated?

  • 1034 projects awarded to building occupiers in the education sector.
  • 339 projects awarded for improvement of ‘building services’, making up one third of overall funding.
  • 195 of the 339 projects awarded in building services were awarded to projects relating to boiler upgrades or boiler replacements with air source heat pumps, or similar projects linked to end-of-life boilers, or school closure due to failure.
  • The remaining projects were linked to compliance with industry regulations, including fire alarm upgrades, emergency lighting upgrades, electrical distribution upgrades & legionella compliance

How can we help?

Zenergi’s technical division, Briar, has extensive experience of securing funding for public bodies via the Condition Improvement Fund, School Condition Allocation (SCA) Funding, Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF) and Urgent Capital Support (USC) Bids.

We can work with you to assess your site and understand the priorities, advising you on the projects to include to maximise bid success. We will guide you through the whole application process to help you submit comprehensive bids that meet the guidelines and achieve the best possible outcome.

And when your bid is successful, we can project manage and tender the work right through to completion, allowing a seamless process from securing the funding to delivering the project in full, for a faster return on investment.


Further reading:



18 Oct 2023

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