New Condition Improvement Fund [CIF]

Condition Improvement Fund [CIF]
Condition Improvement Fund [CIF]

New Condition Improvement Fund

The Education Funding Agency [EFA] have just announced a new Condition Improvement Fund for academies.  Many of our clients have already been in contact with us asking for assistance with the preparation of bids to the new fund.

  The new fund amalgamates the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund [ACMF] and Building Condition Improvement Fund [BCIF] for academies and sixth form colleges.  The general characteristics of the new fund however appears to be similar to the old ACMF.

Although the details of the new funding have yet to be announced the assessment criterion is slightly different to previous years.  Bids will now be assessed over four categories – ‘Project Need’ ‘Project Response’ ‘Costs and Funding’ and ‘Deliverability’.  Each category has a new weighting.  The old ‘value for money’ category has been given less weighting and a new category of ‘project need’ has been introduced.  ‘Project need’ and ‘Project Response’ now have a combined weighting of 60% as opposed to the old ‘Outputs to be Achieved’ category which was 50%.  This is arguably good news as bids which can demonstrate a clear need and effective response should receive high scores.

The EFA have given some indication that the recently issued Property Data Surveys will be used to allocate funding for the Priority School Building Programme [PSBP].  Interestingly they have not yet stated that the Property Data Survey will be used to assess bids made under the new Condition Improvement Fund.  This is also good news as inaccuracies in the Property Data Survey could have been detrimental to a worthy project.  Our clients who challenged the Property Data Survey however have at least pre-empted this potential obstacle.

In our view to be successful with a bid to the new Condition Improvement Fund it will be important to demonstrate a clear need.  Reference to the Property Data Survey should help the case.  A more detailed survey report however is critical if a strong case is to be made.  It’s also important that the information submitted is professional and impartial.  Quotations from contractors are important when demonstrating ‘Project Response’ but establishing a ‘need’ is by far the most important element.  We fear that without the right professional advice from the outset many schools will not receive the funding they desperately need.

If you need any assistance with your project or would like an informal chat about how best to prepare an effective bid please do contact Mark Brothwell on 01934 710 789 or mark@corporatebuildingconsultancy.com

Further information from the EFA can be found on:  https://www.gov.uk/condition-improvement-fund

Posted by Mark on October 17th 2014

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