Condition Improvement Fund: All You Need to Know

What is the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)?

Academies and sixth-form colleges can apply for financial help from the government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to improve the condition of their premises.

The CIF is available through an application process and addresses:

  • Health and safety issues
  • Building compliance
  • Expansion projects
  • Energy efficiency

How much funding is available?

In 2017, over £535 million was shared between 1,650 projects.

Project thresholds range from £20,000 to £4 million.

What are the criteria?

Projects are scored against three weighted criteria:

  • Project Need (70%)
  • Project Planning (15%)
  • Project Cost (15%)

When is the application deadline?

First-time applicants must register on the CIF portal by the end of November.

All applications must then be submitted by December 14th.

Successful projects will be announced by April 2018.

How can I improve my chances?

  1. Understand the improvement priorities of your existing buildings;
  2. Timing is crucial: plan ahead and be clear about what you want;
  3. Attach project documentation to your application as evidence;
  4. Remember bids that support health and safety compliance are often prioritised;
  5. Read ESFA’s Information for Applicants guide.

The Condition Improvement Fund can go a long way to helping you create the right conditions for students. For more information on the application process, criteria and how to submit the best case for your school, see our Guide to CIF Applications.

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