Since Ploughcroft are experienced at providing professional roofing services to academies and colleges, with strong partnerships with funding surveyors who are successful in over 90% of their funding bids, we have put together this Q&A style blog post for Schools Facilities Management teams seeking school funding.
A government scheme called the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) exists to help the country’s eligible academies and sixth-form colleges apply for capital funding. The funding enables schools and colleges to maintain safe and functional buildings.
Larger multi-academy trusts can receive a School Condition Allocation (SCA) rather than the Condition Improvement Fund to spend strategically to address their most pressing property maintenance needs.
For schools whose buildings are in desperate need of urgent repairs, a Priority Support Building Programme (PSBP) is available. The aim of the PSBP is to rebuild and refurbish school buildings that are currently in the worst condition across the country. A total of 537 schools are included in the scheme, with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rebuilding or refurbishing 260 schools under the first phase of the initiative (PSB1) and refurbishing or rebuilding the individual school buildings rather than whole schools during phase 2 (PSBP2).
Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is the result of Salix’s partnership with the Department of Education (DfE). SEEF offers academies, sixth-form colleges, free schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs) funding to finance the installation of energy-efficient technologies to help them lower their energy bills and providing more comfortable learning environments. Ploughcroft’s Eco Roof™ Thermal Blanket — a clever combination of high-tech roofing insulation and a re-roof — can significantly help schools reduce their energy bills.
The Condition Improvement Fund can be used to finance projects that solve health and safety issues, such as essential electric work or fire safety systems, building compliance and poor school building conditions, for example, making sure the school roof is watertight.
For academies and sixth-form colleges that have attained a good or outstanding Ofsted rating who wish to expand their current facilities, the Condition Improvement Fund can support a small number of such expansion projects.
Similarly, the School Condition Allocation is intended to fund projects that ensure the educational building is safe and in good working order by resolving issues related to building compliance, energy-efficiency and health and safety.
Due to the funding being in high demand, The Condition Improvement Fund provides funding to eligible sixth-forms and colleges for the following types of project categories. Works that fall into the low and lowest categories are unlikely to secure funding.
|Legislation Compliance and Health & Safety, including:
|Life Expired Condition Replacement – where there is a risk of school
|Life Expired Condition Replacement, including:
|Areas below current standards, including:
|Other works: Evidence must provide a clear condition and value for money
case. This might include:
Single academy trusts, small multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges are welcome to apply for the Condition Improvement Fund. MATs with at least 5 academies or more than 3,000 pupils aren’t eligible for the Condition Improvement Fund but can receive a School Funding Allocation.
Academies or sixth-form colleges involved with a Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) project should check with their PSBP Project Director before applying for the Condition Improvement Fund to make sure works covered by the PSBP project aren’t duplicated in the CIF application.
Academies and schools should also take care not to include any energy-efficiency works that are part of their SEEF application within their Condition Improvement Fund application.
Academies and colleges looking to apply for Condition Improvement Fund support need to utilise the CIF Applicants Checklist and the CIF portal. The CIF portal will automatically let eligible schools or colleges register and create an account. From there, schools and colleges are required to fill out an application form where they can attach project documentation to support the case being made for the funding. There’s no need to include information about the educational establishment’s history or history of the condition issue the school or college is looking to rectify.
To apply for the Salix Energy Efficiency Fund, applicants must fill out an application form, which is made available on the Salix website once the DfE has agreed it can be released. Applicants will also have to complete an Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) for each project included within the application and fill out a Business Case (located in a separate tab within the application document) if they are applying for more than £100,000 of loan funding.
Applications for the Condition Improvement Fund, which is an annual bidding process, are typically made in autumn with the results being announced in March the following year. However, it is recommended that schools and colleges begin the bidding process as early as possible to increase their chances of success.
We are all often guilty of fixing things only when they reach breaking point – such as replacing a roof only when it is leaking. But why not be more proactive rather than reactive?
While we understand that many of us would rather think about holidays, sunbathing and barbeques in the garden and sunny trips out, the spring and summer periods are actually the best times to replace your roof.
To avoid the winter rush, book your reputable and accredited roofing contractor during the summer when they are more available.
All our re-roofs are delivered with a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee via Competent Roofer and completed to BS5534 standards so you know you’re in the safest hands with Ploughcroft. Enhanced insulation and low maintenance costs are other benefits which make choosing to get your re-roof done by Ploughcroft a wise choice.
As well as being Which? Trusted Traders, our team are also experienced heritage roofing specialists, ideal if your property is a listed building, holds historic significance or is located in a conservation area.
If your home is an older building you’re attic maybe poorly insulated. Up to 50% of heat is lost through poorly-insulated attics. If you’re thinking about replacing your roof you might want to consider our innovative Eco Roof™ thermal blanket, a re-roof we have combined with quality insulation. The advanced roofing solution can save you up to £500 a year on heating bills, increase your property value by up to 14% and, eventually pays for itself. You can find out more in the video below.
To book your re-roof or roof replacement this summer contact us on 01422 202 919 today.
Replacing your old poly carbonate conservatory roof with a Tiled Conservatory Roof Replacement! will make your conservatory a more usable space, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer.
If you already have a conservatory but feel as though you get little use out of it, a solid conservatory roof replacement can turn your under used space into a delightful living space which can be enjoyed all year round. Aesthetically pleasing and boasting superior energy efficient qualities.
Mr & Mrs Hirst, Brighouse – ‘We were very pleased with the whole procedure of replacing our conservatory roof. The finished tiled roof is amazing and we love sitting in our new garden room!’
Extending your living space into your garden with bi-fold doors is a wonderful way of transforming your living space.
Modern alternatives to the ‘patio door’ offer high energy performance, come with triple glazing and are designed to withstand the elements. Maintaining warmth within your home during winter and providing refreshingly cool temperatures in summer.
Quickslide – Super secure and extremely energy efficient, they will keep the heat in and reduce outside noise levels whilst still leaving a lasting impression.
If your property has an attic conversion, room-in-the-roof, loft conversion or a vaulted ceiling, re-roofing and insulating with modern hi-tech solutions could save you a substantial amount on your heating bills each year.
Keeping the heat in, especially in older properties, is undoubtedly the best way to make your home work harder for you!
Pat Walker, Filey – ‘Our Eco roof was installed over 2 years ago. We rate it as one of the best improvements that has been done to our bungalow. We were impressed with the advice we were given and the price. Our heating bill is now so low, to the point that the energy supplier wanted to check the meter was working correctly!’
You don’t need to forfeit too much of your outdoor space in order to make a huge difference to your living space. What may seem like a wasted bit of land could give you that extra living space to transform your home.
A small ground floor extension could give you the perfect additional space and the great news is you can go ahead and build without planning permission if the work falls within certain guidelines.
Alison Hall, Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse – ‘It looks like we’ve made pretty good progress against your initial plan for the building of our extension. Firstly thank you! It has been a great experience and we are really looking forward to decorating and moving in to use the space. Thanks also to Mark and the various teams and individuals who have been involved with our build. They have all been polite and totally professional throughout.’
Balcony Systems can transform your flat roof or garage into a delightful, usable and unique outdoor living space – a little piece of heaven for you to relax on with family and friends. Roof balcony systems can be installed on most flat roofs and walkways and offer shelter from the wind, privacy, and elegance.
While some balcony systems may require planning permission, many don’t and we can provide advice on planning permission if necessary.
Mr Taylor, Osmotherly – ‘Needless to say we are very pleased with the overall look you have given the project, our home. We would like to convey our thanks to all the team involved with special mention to Luke and Scott, also many thanks to the 2 Karl’s and Graham who worked tirelessly to achieve such a perfect finish. Luke is a very personable young man really deserves to do well, he worked hard, and showed innovation and ingenuity when required and as you can see in the photos the balustrade he constructed is millimetre perfect.
Your workmen were polite and respectful at all times, they are a credit to your company. Furthermore, we would have no hesitation in recommending your company to friends (we have done so already) or anyone else who enquires.’
Replacing old roof windows and skylights with modern, contemporary, energy efficient alternatives gives you the perfect opportunity to enhance your home and increase natural light.
Contemporary alternatives, such as ROOF Maker, provide the best thermal performance technology on the market. The ‘more glass and less frame’ philosophy ensures a beautiful minimalistic look which will make you the envy of your neighbours! With U-Values as low as 0.6 these windows certainly deliver on enrgy efficienty too.
N, West Yorkshire (courtesy of Which? Trusted Traders) ‘Ploughcroft have been fantasic. The first time we used them for Velux windows, this time it was for the roof. Once again they have been very professional, on time, polite and tidy whilst carrying out the work. I would be happy to recommend them.’
Capture & harness the energy of sun! Solar PV converts daylight into electricity. With new advances in technology, it is also possible to incorporate batery storage. Enabling you to generate electricity during the day and store it for later use.
Contrary to popular belief, solar PV doesn’t need direct sunlight to work. Solar panels use the energy from daylight and can still generate electricity on a cloudy day.
Mr & Mrs Birkenhead, Halifax – Thank you ever so much. Thank you to all your staff, what a great team you are, bless you all.
Making your home work harder for you by… helping maintain warmth within your homes during winter and providing refreshingly cool temperatures in summer. Why not extend your living space into your garden with our Bi-Folding Doors?
Making your home work harder for you by… eliminating the hassle of leaks which are often experienced in poly-carbonate roofs with a Tiled Conservatory Roof Replacement! As well as no more of cleaning dirty roofs or sounds of rain and wind. Keeping warm in winter and cool in summer, meaning you can use your conservatory comfortable all year round!
Making your home work harder for you by… keeping the heat in and your heating bills down. You can increase your property value by up to 14% and raise your Energy Performance Certificate by two bands! Our research shows that around 50% of heat is lost through poorly insulated attics, so why not save up-to £500 a year with our Eco Roof™?
Making your home work harder for you by… optimising all the space it provides! You don’t need to forfeit too much of your outdoor space in order to make a huge difference to your living space, and you may not even have to apply for planning permission for an extension to your home! Why move home when you can increase the value of it and extend outwards?
Making your home work harder for you by… increasing your space whilst decreasing energy costs. In most cases, permitted development rights mean that a loft conversion can be carried out with no planning permission and all the building regulation approval can be taken care of by our friendly office staff! Why not extend your living space in the cheapest way with our loft conversions?
Making your home work harder for you by… replacing energy inefficient roof windows with Luxlight® roof windows, letting more light in. In partnership with ROOF maker, Luxlight® have the highest energy performance on the market; they’re triple glazed, easy clean and offer uninterrupted views from within.
Making your home work harder for you by… capturing the sun’s energy. By having Solar Panels, you can use the energy it collects to generate electricity, allowing it to run your household appliances and lighting so you don’t have to depend on the National Grid! Why not let your home run itself?
‘A roof over your head’ is a basic human need and something that we usually take for granted. At the very least, we all expect the roof on our homes to keep out the rain and the wind so we can stay warm and dry indoors.
But should we be expecting more from our roof these days? The answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes!’
It is a fact of life that roofs do not last forever, 60 years being a typical lifespan. Leaks and general wear and tear eventually take their toll and mean that repair is no longer cost-effective. Unfortunately, a new roof is then the only viable option. We call this a distress purchase an unwanted expense forced upon us but why not look at it from a different point of view?
Considerable advances have been made over recent years resulting in new roofing materials and techniques capable of providing massive savings in energy, your carbon footprint and, of course, money.
Ploughcroft has long been thinking outside the box where roofing is concerned. With its innovative approach to roofing technology, we consistently encourage homeowners and businesses to do the same. Our Managing Director Chris Hopkins explains:
We undertake new and replacement roofing of all types including heritage roofing, but a particular speciality is roofing difficult to heat areas like older buildings, bungalows or properties with an attic conversion, room in the roof or vaulted ceiling.
With this in mind, Ploughcroft has combined a re-roof with high-quality insulation. This is called Eco Roof™ and is the ideal solution for older homes, with its thermal blanket creating a warm, cosy, usable living space.
We carry out insulation from the outside to minimise disruption and the result is a room which stays warm in winter but cool in summer.
Eco Roof™ will save you money on heating, increase your property value and also raise your Energy Performance Certificate by up to two bands.
Investing in a new replacement roof is, therefore, a great opportunity to think about the future. Modern roofing systems will not only make your home weather-proof but a lot more comfortable and energy efficient too. After all – there is only one-way energy costs are going! Upgrading your home by bringing it into the 21st century could save a fortune on your heating bills in the long run, helping you pay for those essential home improvements along the way!
With our Loft Conversion, you can enjoy more space in your home, without the hassle of having to move to a new house or expanding into the garden losing outdoor space. For next year (or any upcoming occasions) when the family are around, you’ll have more space. So, although they’ll be under your roof, they won’t be under your feet.
If you’d like to see our past work on Loft Conversions, we have a great example to show you of a project we completed in Wakefield.
You gain an extra attic room, obviously! – It could be an extra bedroom for a growing family, it could be an office if you work from home, a playroom for the kids or grandchildren… the options are endless!
By going ahead with a loft conversion you’re avoiding costs of moving and upheaval. The hassle of changing your commute to work and moving the children to a new school aren’t a necessary thought. You may think it might be slightly cheaper to move to a new house, but in fact, often the entire cost of a loft conversion usually equals the same cost for stamp duty.
It can be a great way to increase the value of your home. By having a loft conversion, it can increase the value of your property by up to 20%. Even if you are doing it for extra room, this is a great bonus if you do decide to move in the future.
If you’re an eco-friendly family, you may love the fact that your easiest (and cheapest) source of light for a loft-conversion is, of course, natural light! Therefore, you are able to save and cut down on using electricity to power the lighting in your new room.
We are your VELUX certified installers of Skylights in and around the Yorkshire and Lancashire areas. We can install them in your loft conversion to brighten it up. Head over to our website to see the different types of windows we offer.
Another great bonus of having a Loft-Conversion is that you’re not losing any space at all, as you’re not having to forfeit outside space so, in fact, you’re only acquiring more space!
You can improve your views. With having a loft conversion, you gain a new perspective on your surroundings.
It can make a huge difference for yourself if you’re looking out onto new scenery, such as the valley, hills, gardens, and fields surrounding your home, instead of looking at the same street that you live on or looking at the same house over the street every day!
A lot of changes happen during summer that help shape our homes.
Perhaps your children are moving out to university by the end of the summer so you’re looking to tailor your home more to your tastes and shed that ‘teenagers-have-definitely-been here’ look?
Maybe your family is expanding and you want your home to grow accordingly to accommodate new arrivals or energetic grandchildren that often come to visit?
Whatever your situation, a home is where you unwind and be yourself and should always cater for your needs and tastes whilst reflecting your personality. However, extravagant prices are often associated with home improvements.
But did you know, with the modern, energy-efficient building options now available, property developments can now be considered a worthwhile, money-saving long-term investment for your home?
When we crave more space, relocating to a bigger home often springs to mind but what about the space you already have available in your home?
The cheapest way to expand your home, and perhaps one of the most effective, is a loft conversion. It utilises untapped space, expanding upwards rather than outwards so you don’t sacrifice valuable garden space.
Intelligent insulation options, such as the innovative Eco Roof™ thermal blanket, can save you up to £500 on your annual energy bills, keeping your new loft conversion and indeed, your entire property, well heated. The Eco Roof™ has also been proven to increase a property’s value by up to 14%!
There has never been a better time for a loft conversion and often you won’t even need planning permission (you can find out more on the Planning Portal).
An office, game/hobby room, playroom, gym, extra bedroom, or even storage to free up and declutter other areas of your home, a loft conversion can hold unlimited potential for any home.
Gone are the days of cheaper polycarbonate conservatory roofs, which were often susceptible to leaks. Today, conservatory roofs can be tiled and extremely energy-efficient and well-insulated.
Tiled conservatory roofs are also robust and resilient against typical British weather.
Energy bills and long-term maintenance costs are kept low and, with a comfortable temperature constantly maintained, you and your family can use your conservatory all year round to really make the most of the extra space and get more value for your money- it’s a win- win!
Possibilities for flat roofs and garage roofs to be transformed into elegant balconies are often overlooked. The truth is, many insulated options are now available, again saving you money on energy bills, whilst increasing the kerb appeal of your home.
Giving you access to great views and an outside area to relax in, balconies can be a great way to get fresh air and soak up that all important vitamin D, without really leaving your home!
Roof windows, especially those by reputable companies like VELUX, ensure a loft, conservatory or orangery feels open and spacious, whilst allowing healthy natural light to filter in.
Classic vaulted ceilings and stylish roof windows also act as a great centre piece and ‘wow factor’ for any home.
Improving and expanding the space you have truly is a more cost-effective (not to mention less stressful) option than moving and any improvements to your home increase the overall value of your property exponentially in the long run.
We often hear that school and college leavers lack the necessary skills employers expect of them in the world of work. In fact, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) found that 8 out of 10 British school-leavers lacked “essential business skills” like mathematics.
Our Director, Chris Hopkins believes that this worrying trend can also be seen in the construction industry, with construction colleges leaving students ill-prepared for the realities of the fast-paced world of roofing.
In a recent article in the Huddersfield Examiner Chris expressed his concern for how he thinks this year’s construction college leavers will be “untrained and unprepared” to cope with and meet the demands of energy-saving building techniques, which are rapidly becoming favoured by and sought after by consumers.
Priding ourselves on being at the forefront innovations within the roofing industry, Ploughcroft has developed our own two-year Eco Roof apprenticeship scheme to help bring new trainees up to scratch.
The practical Eco Roof apprenticeship qualification incorporates modern roofing installation techniques, not currently taught in colleges, such as preventing heat loss from buildings. Part of the hands-on accreditation includes learning how to fit a warm roofing system and Ploughcroft’s very own thermal blanket, Eco Roof™, which combines intelligent insulation with a revolutionary re-roofing system.
The Eco Roof™ is so energy-efficient it has become known as “the roof that pays for itself”, saving homeowners up to £500 on their annual heating bills, whilst increasing property values by up to 14% and improving property grades on Energy Performance Certificates by up to two bands.
Our apprenticeships are carried out in collaboration with Leeds College of Building and promise to offer 16-24-year-olds valuable real-world experience and important knowledge of traditional roofing methods and theory. This education is provided through attending college in 2-week blocks and working on-site at locations where our ongoing projects are taking place throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire.
We prepare our apprentices with real-life roofing knowledge, so much so that one of our excelling Level 2 Roof Slating and Tiling apprentices, Charlie Oakes recently competed in the regional heats of the prestigious SkillBuild competition after winning the local rounds.
If you’re interested in enrolling on our Eco Roof apprenticeship scheme or know someone who would be, simply email a CV to email@example.com or contact us today.
With the Eco Roof™ bringing such a wealth of benefits and the rising trend for consumers to prefer more eco-friendly building options, Chris maintains that there has never been a better time for aspiring roofers to sign-up for our apprenticeship scheme and for colleges to step up and adapt their curriculums accordingly.
“Over the past three years, we have seen a rapid growth in our Eco-Roof business as energy prices continue to rise and customers become increasingly clued-up when it comes to greener living and the impact it can have on their energy bills.
“However, while consumer demand rises, colleges simply aren’t keeping up. Given there was no existing eco roof apprenticeship scheme in place that covered the type of specialist work we carry out, we’ve been trialling and created our own using my professional teaching and roofing assessor qualifications.
“That said, we can only do so much and today’s apprentices are the people who will drive the energy efficiency industry forward in years to come. As such, it is absolutely essential that colleges – and other construction businesses – continue to evolve and invest in skills and development.”
– Chris Hopkins, Managing Director, Ploughcroft Ltd
We hope our Eco Roof apprenticeship continues to equip trainees with the useful skills and technical training they need to really succeed in the energy-efficient and roofing industries and that colleges follow suit- apprentices are the future of roofing after all!
It’s National Apprentice Week! Running from March 14 – 18, the purpose of the Week is to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
University is no longer the only ‘next step’ after A-Levels and for those who are interested in going into the manufacturing and construction industry, an apprenticeship is now a fantastic route into the sector, and the opportunity to ‘learn and earn’.
We’re big supporters of apprenticeships here at Ploughcroft, and that’s one of the reasons we launched the UK’s first Eco-Roof apprenticeship scheme back in 2015, designed around the unique skills and techniques required to succeed in the fast-growing energy efficiency industry.
The current issue we are facing is that either not enough students are joining the construction industries, or those who do, enter the field without the adequate skills – especially when it comes to energy efficiency – and this apprenticeship scheme helps to eliminate that.
As part of a two-year apprenticeship, our course offers a mix of on-the-job training and classroom-based learning which covers traditional roofing, as well as a wide range of cut-ting-edge, energy-efficient construction techniques required to meet the needs of this fast-growing eco construction sector.
Our Scheme has been a great success, so let us introduce you to a few of our apprentices.
Charlie Oakes, began his Roof Slating and Tiling Apprenticeship last September. Aside from becoming a future roofing and tiling master, he is also a sporting protégé; playing hockey for Middlesbrough and represented England’s U17’s. Last October Charlie also represented England in the U20’s World Championships in Spain.
Last September, Dan Saffa also started his Roof Slating and Tiling Apprenticeship with Ploughcroft. Dan infuses a fighting spirit in the team; in his free time he is a keen boxer for Hebden Bridge Boxing club and last autumn, he fought in the Yorkshire Novice Championships.
Oliver, our budding singer/songwriter, began his Special Lead working apprenticeship last October. We sometimes find him singing from the rooftops, and he certainly helps keep up team morale!
Last but not least is Ted. He may be a fierce cage fighter by night, but by day he is the laid back office boy completing his Office Administration apprenticeship at Ploughcroft.
Find out more about Ploughcroft’s apprenticeship scheme here.
As we head towards spring, homeowners everywhere start looking into home improvements. But where to start? With the garden, the spare room and the kitchen all competing for your attention, the choices are almost endless. However, if you’re looking for a genuine return on investment you should really consider an eco-loft conversion. While this might sound like it’s a major project, with the right contractor, it doesn’t need to be. In fact, we’ve come up with our top benefits of converting your loft. Well, what are you waiting for?
1. Gaining an extra room. Whether it’s an additional bedroom or an office, a loft conversion is the perfect solution to gain that extra room you need.
2. Increase the value of your house. When you increase the square footage of your home you also increase property value by up to 20%. Attic conversations are a great way to do this.
3. Planning permission. Unlike an extension it is unlikely that a loft conversation will require planning permission, therefore saving you time and money (and it won’t upset your neighbours!)
4. Avoids losing space outside. The beauty of extending your house upwards is that your precious garden remains untouched!
5. Insulate your home. Our research shows that up to 50% of a home’s heat is lost as a result of poorly insulated attics. When you have a loft conversion you can save over £500 a year in energy bills by installing Ploughcroft’s unique Eco-Roof™!
6. Natural Light. Loft conversions usually include large Velux windows which mean you have plenty of natural light – especially when compared with other rooms throughout your house.
7. Storage galore. Typically loft conversions feature useful storage spaces built into the attic space at the sides of the room. As anyone who has a family will know – you can never have enough storage!
If you’re interested in finding out more about Ploughcroft’s Eco-Roof™ solution, you can read more here.