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School buildings across the country to be refurbished through dedicated £1.4 billion funding

Schools in England are to benefit from investment of over £1.4 billion in buildings and facilities over the coming financial year.

This includes over £430 million from the Condition Improvement Fund, covering more than 1,400 projects announced today (Thursday, 4 April).

The money also includes almost £800million for local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts to invest in improving and maintaining their schools.

This funding is part of over £7.4 billion capital funding allocated since 2015. In addition, the priority school building programme is rebuilding or refurbishing facilities at over 500 schools across England.

This investment comes after stats last week showed the government is on track to deliver 1 million new school places by 2020 – with 921,000 created since 2010.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“Schools are much more than just buildings; they are the centres of communities, they are where children learn skills for the rest of their lives, and they are safe havens. That’s why it’s vital they are in the best possible condition.

“So as well as providing the resources for all schools to maintain and renew their facilities, today’s funding will target those schools with some of the most urgent need – making sure children don’t have to spend time in buildings that aren’t fit for purpose.”

For the financial year 2019–20, the £1.4 billion of funding includes approximately:

•             Almost £800 million for local authorities, voluntary aided partnerships, larger multi-academy trusts and academy sponsors, to invest in maintaining and improving the condition of their schools;

•             £433 million for the Condition Improvement Fund, which will cover 1,413 projects at 1,210 small and stand-alone academy trusts and sixth-form colleges;

•             Over £200 million of Devolved Formula Capital allocated for schools to spend on small capital projects to meet their own priorities.

Since 2015, the Condition Improvement Fund has allocated nearly £2bn for over 6,000 projects at more than 3,000 schools all over the country.

This year’s funding will go to projects that tackle building condition and health and safety compliance, such as replacing roofs, windows and fire alarm systems, to ensure that schools are kept safe and open.

On top of this the Department is today announcing that over £8 million in interest-free loan funding will be split between 167 academies to pay for energy efficiency projects including heating controls lighting upgrades and insulation. 

Figures from 2016/17 show state-funded schools in England spent more than £584 million on gas and electricity and the average secondary school spends around £90,000 a year on energy. This funding will help the schools that receive it save around £1.8million a year, driving down the carbon footprint of the school estate and saving money in the process. The money comes from the Salix Energy Efficiency Fund which is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and administered by Salix Finance Ltd.  

Earlier this year the Department launched a new web-based tool to help schools switch to cheaper energy suppliers.

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