Funding sources for building projects at academy schools

By Lancashire Business View

03 Jan 2017

For schools and academies, this time of year isn’t just about the new term, open evenings and harvest festivals – it’s the time to assess the renovations and improvements that need to be made to the buildings.

Michal Harrison, partner at Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors.

As the window opens for funding and the application process begins, now is the crucial time to see what funding is available to maintain, develop and refurbish the school buildings.

For academies, free schools and sixth form colleges, money is available from the EFA via the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).

Voluntary aided schools can apply for LCVAP funding.

The academy funding is used for anything from new roofs, window replacements to new fire alarm systems, refurbishing classrooms and science laboratories, refurbishments of sports blocks and toilet blocks – whatever is deemed necessary and beneficial, although strict criteria applies and detailed funding bids must be prepared.

The applications must be submitted by midDecember 2016 for works to be carried out over the summer holidays 2017 but now is the time to start with the bid preparations.

Competition is tough as the CIF fund is four times oversubscribed. So academies should chose a building consultant with specialist experience of educational funding, to work with them to prepare a detailed funding bid.

So surveys of buildings should be undertaken and development plans be prepared help schools to identify opportunities and to support the funding applications.

Lea Hough have specialist knowledge and an excellent track record of successfully obtaining the money for projects. Over the past three years alone Lea Hough have secured over £4m of CIF grant funding for the development of academy schools. For academy schools, the Lea Hough team provide an initial free consultation meeting and prepare the CIF funding bid at no charge, meaning the academy is not responsible for any fees for the bid submission.

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