CIF Funding – three tips for success

CIF funding

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) open a CIF funding bidding round every year under which qualifying academies, multi-academy trusts and sixth form colleges can apply for capital funding.

ESFA announced recently that they will be providing an additional £182m for Condition Improvement Funding 2020 to 2021 projects. This will fund a further 580 projects at 548 academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools. This sort of funding makes it vital that all academies & colleges submit at least one or two bids each year.

As we highlighted in this post, How to write successful CIF Bids it is important to prepare as early as possible and gather that all-important evidence, such as commissioning a Condition Report.

CIF bid writing, CIF funding

CIF bid writing
However, what are the other factors that have helped us secure critical funding for many local academies & sixth form colleges?

Understanding which projects are successful is the first step and we can confirm the highest priority is always given to the following;

  • Health and safety or safeguarding issues
  • Emergency asbestos removal
  • Fire safety works
  • Leaking roofs, cladding and windows
  • Heating and hot water systems


Secondly, a CIF funding application stands a better chance of approval if the applicant makes a contribution, or takes out a loan contribution, or contributes a SALIX funded element. Those extra few contribution marks can make all the difference!

Finally gather compelling evidence. If you can independently justify the funding need there is a much better chance of being successful. That is why we initially mentioned early preparation, as all these reports take time to commission, for example; building condition reports, contractor’s prices, programmes of work, options appraisals, annotated photographs, SALIX energy savings calculators, reports of breakdowns and leaks etc.


For further help or information on CIF funding applications, please see our Education Experience or email us at info@chawtonhill.com to discuss how we can provide free of charge assistance in preparing successful CIF bids.

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