Property Tectonics is reminding schools that the Education Funding Agency (EFA) will provide a Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) for academies and sixth-form colleges to access in the 2017 to 2018 financial year, (April 2017 to March 2018).
The core priority for CIF is condition: keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order is a key priority. Most CIF funding aims to address issues with significant consequences that revenue or Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) funding cannot meet.
The second priority for CIF is expansion with a smaller proportion of CIF funding supporting high performing academies and sixth form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities and/or floor space. This can be due to either increasing the number of admissions in the main year of entry or to address overcrowding, including cases of recently approved age-range expansion and sixth-form expansions. However, the bulk of funding goes to improving condition (85%) so product/service offering needs to be shaped accordingly.
The EFA will give the highest priority to condition projects that address compliance and health and safety issues. These include fire protection systems, electrical safety or emergency asbestos removal. Then priority is given to projects that ensure weather tight buildings and continuous heating and water supply.
Bid requests can be between £20,000 and £4 million per project but the guidance needs to be followed and projects are expected to be for works that can be completed by 31 March 2018. Larger projects may span up to two years in duration, but all projects must be completed by 31 March 2019.
Property Tectonics is offering a service which will help schools to make successful bids based on good professional advice on the condition of a school’s building stock. The company has undertaken several due diligence surveys in connection with Academy Conversions and has a wealth of experience working in schools and on condition based assessment and compliance. Andy Lang at Property Tectonics said “the timetable is critical and schools should not leave it too late before putting their bids together; these take time to prepare properly and to make a good case for funding.” The timetable is shown in the table below.