Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) for 2020-21 is now open. 

CIF is an annual bidding round run by the Department for Education (DfE) for eligible academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding. The priority for the fund is to address significant condition need, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order.

CIF funding is available for all academies which do not belong to large Multi-Academy Trusts (5+ academies or 3,000+ pupils) and all sixth-form colleges.

Academies and Multi-Academy Trusts looking to carry out projects solely focused on energy efficiency, such as upgrading to LED lighting or more efficient boilers, may be more suited to apply for Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF). Find out more here.

Salix and CIF

If the condition works will lead to energy savings, academies can choose to include a Salix loan within the CIF application. Academies and sixth-form colleges who choose to apply for a loan will be eligible for additional points under the Project Cost criterion than if they had applied for their project to be funded through grant alone.

Salix loans are interest free and the HM Treasury have already approved Salix loans, so no additional approval is necessary. The DfE supports these loans as repayments are recycled to fund future energy efficiency projects.

Examples of projects with energy savings that could include a Salix loan are: boiler and heating system upgrades, insulation in roofs, walls and pipework, windows/draught proofing and cladding.

Salix Finance works in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) to assess projects with an energy saving element.

The Salix loan will cover up to an eight-year payback on the energy saving measures. When the project takes more than eight years to pay back, it could be funded through a combination of an interest-free Salix loan, alongside either a CIF loan, academy/college contribution or CIF grant funding.

Key information

  • Applying for a Salix loan can increase the value for money score – a key assessment criteria for all CIF bids
  • The Salix loan is interest-free and is repaid to the DfE based upon the predicted energy savings
  • The loan repayments are recycled to fund further projects in the public sector
  • Salix funds over 100 different technologies, including LED lighting and insulation
  • When applying for a CIF bid that includes a Salix element, please refer to the CIF guidance
  • Academies and sixth-form colleges are allowed two CIF bids per round
  • Applications for Salix funding as part of the CIF are made within the CIF application form on the CIF online portal.

The CIF Application Process

To aid Salix’s assessment of your project’s energy savings, Salix ask you to complete the following and submit as part of the CIF application on the portal:

  • The Salix Energy Savings Support Tool 
  • We also ask you to include any supporting information showing how the savings and operational hours have been calculated, and the technical specifications of the equipment to be installed.

Please note: Salix do not count any maintenance savings; they are an added benefit for the academy and shouldn’t be included in your loan amount requested.

Key Dates and Timescales

  • Applications opened on Monday 28th October 2019
  • New applicants must register to use the DfE/ESFA Portal by 12 noon on Friday 29th November 2019
  • The submission deadline for all applications is 12 noon on Friday 13th December 2019
  • The DfE/ESFA will notify applicants of the outcome in Spring 2020. 
  • Project completion: Projects typically have 12 months to complete, larger projects may be given up to 24 months to complete.

The Schools and Academies team includes

Programme Manager  
Alex Morgan 0203 102 6903 [email protected]
Programme Coordinators  
Suad Omer 0203 102 6903 [email protected]
Corinne Manion 0203 102 6906 [email protected]
Client Support Officer  
Shaista Farooq 0203 714 5658 [email protected]
Aycan Yasar 0203 714 5658 [email protected]