West Yorkshire multi-academy trust secures £1.4M funding for building improvements for its schools

The Polaris Multi-Academy Trust, a growing family of five schools across West Yorkshire, has secured £1.4M of funding, following their successful condition Improvement Fund (CIF) bids to the Department of Education. The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding round for eligible schools, academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding.
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The trust has committed £400,000 of its own capital reserves to the condition improvement projects, meaning the value of the work being invested into improving school buildings is £1.88m.

Mr Evans, CEO of Polaris Multi-Academy Trust, commented that: “We have been very successful with CIF bids over the years - totalling millions of pounds for our schools. Once again, we are delighted that the money will allow us to support ongoing improvements to our buildings, which supports the Trust’s ambition to provide the best quality of education in the best environments for our pupils”.

He continued:

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Lucy Harper, Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy TrustLucy Harper, Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy Trust
Lucy Harper, Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy Trust

“These successful CIF bids are a testament to the dedication and hard work of the skilled Polaris Trust team and our bid partners at Eddisons, who like us, are committed to providing outstanding learning environments for children, young people, and staff. The funding from the Department of Education and the investment from trust capital reserves will support the trust and our schools in reducing costs of repairs or replacements in the coming years, allowing us to spend more of our funding directly on the pupils.”

Lucy Harper, Head of School at Salterlee Primary School, which is part of the Polaris Multi-Academy Trust, said:

“Since joining the Polaris Multi-Academy Trust in 2023, the Trust has secured over £500,000 in funding for our school. For a small local primary school, funding at any level is vital. This money will help to ensure our school is in great condition to keep up the high-quality education for our children for many years to come.”

The CIF is an annual bidding round where eligible schools and trusts can apply for funding so they can improve or expand their facilities. The CIF bidding procedure is highly complex and, nationally, only 866 of more than 3,000 bids were successful.

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Pupils with the Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy TrustPupils with the Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy Trust
Pupils with the Head of School Salterlee Primary & Steve Evans, CEO Polaris Multi-Academy Trust

The condition of schools has been thrust into the spotlight since a National Audit Office report last year estimated 700,000 children were being taught in unsafe or ageing school buildings in England.