Do you require Refurbishment funding?

Provide your contact information to receive FREE advice on CIF Applications, understand if you qualify and how to maximise the application process.

Do you require Repairs funding?

CIF is a Government Scheme designed to help upgrade and maintain your building fabric, mechanical & electrical systems.

Do you require Expansion funding?

Academies and Sixth-Form Colleges rated good or outstanding by Ofsted can use CIF for expansion projects if they can demonstrate a need.

Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

Does your school, college or academy require repair, refurbishment or expansion? We can help you apply for Condition Improvement Funding.

All building types require regular maintenance over time, both due to general wear and tear as well as to comply with health and safety regulations, which may differ significantly from when the building was originally constructed.

Schools are no exception, especially given the average primary school has 281 pupils, with secondary schools having an average of 948 pupils. With heavy demand placed on the building over time, coupled with the importance of receiving a quality level of education, school buildings that are in a state of disrepair can have wide-reaching negative consequences for pupils, teachers and the wider community alike.

To combat the issue of school buildings that are in a poor state of repair, alongside highly rated schools in need of expansion due to growing pupil numbers, eligible schools or sixth form colleges can apply for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). The scheme is an annual bidding round to access government capital funding, which if successful will provide the monetary funds to allow for safety or expansion concerns to be addressed through improvement works.

Advice on Condition Improvement Funding is one of the many specialist services we provide here at Roger Hannah, as a 50 strong team of chartered surveyors and property experts with over 40 years in the industry.

Contact the dedicated CIF team for your free consultation.

We provide initial advice FREE as a low-risk option for Academies and Sixth Forms to explore their CIF funding options.

0161 429 1670

Does your Academy or Sixth Form College require refurbishment, repair or expansion? Apply for Condition Improvement Funding Now!

Roger Hannah can assist you through the entire process to ensure your school is best positioned for CIF funding consideration, which could include:

Fabric Projects

  • Roof refurbishments/replacements
  • Security & safeguarding
  • Window & curtain wall replacements
  • Extensions to existing accommodation
  • Sport facilities upgrades

Mechanical & Electrical Projects

  • Gas & electrical safety works and upgrades
  • Heating alterations and upgrades
  • Ventilation/air quality and thermal comfort
  • Fire safety
  • Lift safety

How Roger Hannah Can Help

Here at Roger Hannah, we can help you during the CIF funding process in several different ways. We can help with the following:

  • Write CIF bids, or support the writing thereof
  • Obtain competitive quotations during the bid process
  • Manage the project if the bid is successful
  • Complete and submit progress reports
  • Cost manage the entire project
  • And procure expert surveyors to ensure project safety once complete (structural, fire hazards, etc.)

With a high bid success rate, the team here at Roger Hannah are determined to help secure your CIF funding and ensure the success of the project. 

How Long Does it Take to Write a Condition Improvement Fund Bid?

Leaving your bid to the last minute is a mistake that many school’s make, to their detriment. Ensuring that there is plenty of time to prepare and then review your CIF funding bid again is important. Preparing the supporting information alone can be a lengthy process. For many, consulting a Condition Improvement Fund expert is important, as it can speed up the process.

However, even if you do involve an expert, it is important to leave plenty of time before the deadline to prepare your school’s bid. A period greater than 6-months would be most ideal.

What Is CIF Funding?

Condition Improvement Fund (commonly referred to as CIF), is an annual government funding scheme for academies and sixth form colleges. The funding is designed to help upgrade and maintain building fabric, mechanical and electrical systems, to provide students and teaching staff with a suitable and safe working environment.

In addition, for academies or sixth form colleges rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, the Condition Improvement Fund also supports a small proportion of expansion projects.

All applications that seek new classrooms or other forms of expansion require detailed, expert, knowledge. Typically, you will be required to provide details of the design, cost and overall building programme.

The project threshold for CIF bids is between £20,000 and £4,000,000, depending on the type of educational facility and works required. A government-produced Condition of School Buildings Survey on behalf of the Department for Education, found that eligible schools across England require between £295,209 and £699,983 of conditioning work on average.

Our experts at Roger Hannah can provide you with free specific detailed information pertaining to your school or college’s qualifying position. This allows you, along with the governing body, to make an informed decision and ultimately progress to the next stage of your CIF funding application.

Successful CIF Academy Application - Case Study

Who Can Apply For Condition Improvement Funding?

To qualify for the Condition Improvement Fund, your school must fall under some of the following criteria:

  • Have functioned as an open academy or sixth form from 1st September 2020.
  • Be a school with a signed academy order as of 1st September 2020 (which then must have fully converted to academy status as of April 2021, with a funding agreement in place).
  • The school must NOT be part of a multi-academy trust; with 5 or more academies or with more than 3,000 pupils. These schools will receive a School Condition Allocation (SCA).


CIF Funding Timescale - When Will CIF Bids Be Announced?

General Timescales from Application to Notification:

Each year the exact dates for CIF applications vary, but please see below the general timescales from year to year:

  1. Launch of the forthcoming years CIF updated information and online application window – Mid-October
  2. Deadline for new applicants to register end of November
  3. Deadline for all applicants to submit applications Mid-December
  4. Notification of applicant’s outcomes Spring the following year

With the deadline for the current year’s CIF funding always in sight, now is the time to prepare your application. We welcome school’s at various stages, including those just starting the Condition Improvement Fund process and those who have completed their application. We are dedicated to providing feedback and advice at all stages.

The Department for Education will publish funding results in Spring each year to allow successful bidders time to procure and deliver the works during the summer months and beyond. The latest Guidance Note for bids has now been released and can be located on the following link.

FREE Application Advice

If you require detailed information on the application process and applying for funding, provide your direct contact details and the address of the School/Academy and we will contact you at our earliest convenience.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact us directly:

0161 429 1670


Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM)

Roger Hannah’s Planned Preventative Maintenance reports are sometimes integral to the delivery of a considered CIF funding application and the commencement of the project afterwards. they typically include the identification of defects, lifecycle predictions, budget costings and forecasts with recommended timescales over an agreed period of time that’s tailored to each individual school.

Prevention is better than cure and provides a more economical option!

How can PPM benefit our school?

Common Poor Building Condition Issues In Schools

A report by The Guardian found that one in six schools in England requires urgent repairs, with the total repair bill totalling £11bn

Roger Hannah also performs planned preventative maintenance to school buildings. So when it comes to helping our clients write and win successful CIF bids, we understand first hand some of the many building condition challenges that need to be overcome. 

To obtain Condition Improvement Funding, all eligible entrants will be assessed on a unique basis as no two buildings will have the exact same repair concerns. 

For example, in our blog post ‘School successful in CIF application’, we mentioned how we helped an academy secure a CIF bid. The academy had long standing flat roof problems causing dampness throughout the building. After surveying all affected roofs, undertaking a Condition Survey for each, and producing three individual reports to support the bid, the academy was able to replace the failing roofs to a superior standard. 

However, within the DfE Condition of School Buildings Survey, the following aspects relating to safety or poor condition came out as the most common concerns affecting school buildings: 

  • Admin areas
  • Air conditioning
  • Asbestos
  • Boilers
  • Boundary walls
  • Ceilings
  • Drainage systems
  • External walls, doors & windows
  • Fire safety
  • Floors & Stairs
  • Internal walls & doors
  • IT infrastructure
  • Lighting
  • Main switch panels
  • Pipework
  • Playing fields
  • Redecoration work
  • Roofs
  • Science, technology & ICT equipment
  • Storage
  • Tarmac or grass standing areas

How Roger Hannah Can Help With The CIF Process

Any Condition Improvement Funding bids require detailed knowledge from a qualified expert who can not only identify the issue, but its current implication on the building along with the benefits of undertaking the work. Likewise, expansion projects require substantiating evidence and detailed plans to be able to be considered for CIF Funding. 

In addition, the CIF process – whether for improvement or expansion works alike – can be incredibly time consuming, not to mention complex to undertake. 

With a high bid success rate, the team here at Roger Hannah are determined to help secure your CIF funding and ensure the success of the project. We can assist you through the entire process to ensure your school is best positioned for CIF funding consideration. 

Here is an overview of how we use our expert team to help secure CIF funding bids. 

See also: A day in the life of a CIF bidding surveyor  

Condition Improvement Funding Bid Writing

The aim of bid writing is to set out a compelling case in order to increase the likelihood of the funds being awarded. While the required works may appear obvious even to the untrained eye, i.e in the case of a leaky roof or faulty central heating, it’s essential a qualified surveyor identifies the problem in full, along with any other issues that pose safety issues, or are in general need of refurbishment. 

In addition, the bid will outline the impact the issues are having on the wider school, and the expected improvements remedial work will achieve. Bid writing is meticulous in nature, and with so much competition to contend with, no relevant detail can afford to be overlooked. 

Our CIF funding bid writing has been successful in securing a number of projects, such as:

  • Extensions to existing accommodation
  • Fire safety improvements
  • Gas & electrical safety works and upgrades
  • Heating alterations and upgrades
  • Lift safety
  • Mechanical & electrical projects
  • Roof refurbishments/replacements
  • Security & safeguarding
  • Sport facilities upgrades
  • Ventilation/air quality and thermal comfort
  • Window & curtain wall replacements

Obtain Competitive Quotation

Any type of building work is subject to thorough research relating to the scope of the project, and the specialist services that will be required to carry out the work. 

In the case of CIF funded projects, it’s imperative that competitive quotes are sourced so that the work is completed to its full potential and is delivered within budget. The Roger Hannah team will ensure this is the case, working with a view to providing the best possible outcome for the school or college in mind. 

Project Manage Successful Bids

Successful building condition improvement or expansion works rely on a number of strategic and administrative processes being subject to careful management throughout. 

Our CIF project management service oversees aspects such as obtaining client briefs, procurement strategies, health and safety regulations etc. All of which is carried out with the aim of a smooth-running project from start to finish. 

Complete And Submit Progress Reports

We will monitor the progress and quality of construction work and prepare progress reports in response, detailing our findings and outlining any recommendations. 

Cost Manage The Project

Cost management covers everything from the initial project estimations, through to monitoring costs as the project progresses. 

If approved, the CIF funding is awarded as a set amount of money, and so it’s essential that the works fall within the allotted award so that the project can be fully realised. 

At the same time, expected standards must be upheld within the planning and construction elements of the process, making cost management an extremely thorough undertaking. 

Ensure Successful Final Project Outcome

We’ll dispatch our expert surveyors to ensure project safety in regards to aspects such as structural, fire safety, electrical works etc. Offering a complete start to finish service, we’ll be on hand from the initial assessment of CIF funding suitability, until the final handover has been completed. 

Benefits Of CIF Funding

  • Avoids school closure
  • Benefits the wider community
  • Boosts both the reputation and the value of the site
  • Enriches both student and teaching experience
  • Ensures full usage of the entire school grounds
  • Helps to attract teaching talent
  • Reduces disruption for teachers and pupils
  • Reduces need for costly interim repairs
  • Significantly reduces the likelihood of accident, illness or injury due to building faults

Why Are Some Condition Improvement Funding Bids Unsuccessful?

With CIF funding bids, either the works will be fully funded or they will be unsuccessful. 

Naturally, every school or college in need of remedial or expansion works will want to be successful in their CIF funding bid. Understandably, facing a rejected bid can be extremely disheartening for all involved. 

While Roger Hannah strives to only submit successful CIF bids, if submitting through other means in the past your bid may have been unsuccessful. 

If your educational institution has previously had a CIF funding bid rejected, some of the most likely reasons include: 

The bid was not compelling enough to compete for the limited funds available 

The DfE states that bids must include clear and focused evidence, with an emphasis on the areas of work with the highest urgency. There is a detailed list of criteria that applicants must adhere to which assessors will be looking out for when making their decisions.  

The fees were deemed to be disproportionate to the work involved

As mentioned above, the CIF fund has limited funds available per bidding round. Any suggested works must have logical and reasonable costings attached, which is yet another reason why having a qualified building surveyor can help ensure your bid will be successful. 

Not enough time was given to prepare the bid

Leaving your bid to the last minute is a mistake that many school’s make, to their detriment. 

Ensuring that there is plenty of time to prepare and then review your CIF funding bid is crucial. 

Preparing the supporting information alone can be a lengthy process. For many, consulting a Condition Improvement Fund expert is important, as it can speed up the process.

However, even if you do involve an expert, it is important to leave plenty of time before the deadline to prepare your school’s bid. A period greater than 6 months would be most ideal.