Applying for stage 2 of the local skills improvement fund

Information for further education providers about stage 2 of the local skills improvement fund, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Applies to England


The local skills improvement fund (LSIF) is designed to enable further education providers across a geographic area to respond collectively to the priorities in the local skills improvement plans (LSIPs). The LSIPs were submitted by the designated employer representative body for each area by 31 May 2023. The results will be published later in 2023.

The LSIF supports the reforms introduced in the skills for jobs white paper, providing investment in the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market and wider economy.

The LSIF is available across 2 financial years:

  • £80 million in 2023 to 2024 (£40 million revenue and £40 million capital)
  • £85 million capital in 2024 to 2025

The LSIF builds on the strategic development fund, which was piloted in 2021 to 2022 and rolled out across England in 2022 to 2023.

The LSIF will:

  • provide investment in new facilities and equipment
  • fund the delivery and development of new courses and curriculum
  • support excellence in college leadership, governance and teaching to create a sustainable approach to addressing local skill needs, particularly at levels 3 to 5

Application stages

The application process has 2 stages:

  1. an invitation to submit an initial expression of interest (EOI) was launched on 24 May 2023 and closed at midday on 20 June 2023. Collaborations of further education providers in each LSIP area could apply for mobilisation funding to support the development of their detailed proposals and costings

  2. an invitation to submit a detailed application for delivery funding. Collaborations of further education providers in each area should submit their detailed proposals and costs for their planned new facilities and activities

This publication covers the stage 2 application process.

Applications can only be submitted if the corresponding application for stage 1 mobilisation funding has been approved. Collaborations should use the LSIPs which were submitted to the department in May 2023 to develop their stage 2 application, building on their initial proposals set out in their stage 1 application.

Who can apply

Only further education provider collaborations that have an approved application for stage 1 LSIF funding can apply.

We have published details of the lead applicants for the LSIF in each area. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we expect the lead applicant to be the same for stage 2 as for stage 1.

The lead applicant must be one of:

  • a general further education college
  • an institution which has been designated as being in the further education sector
  • the licence holder for an Institute of Technology

Each of these provider types are also eligible to lead the individual projects identified in the stage 2 application.

How to apply

Applications for stage 2 must be prepared and submitted by the lead applicant using the:

Applications can only be accepted if submitted using part A and part B of the stage 2 application forms.

The closing date for applications is 12pm (midday) on Friday 15 September 2023.

Provider support event

We plan to host a series of drop-in sessions for providers to ask questions and for the department to provide advice in advance of the application deadline.

The dates and times of these drop-in sessions are:

  • Tuesday 18 July between 9:30am and 10:30am
  • Wednesday 2 August between 3pm and 4pm
  • Tuesday 15 August between 11am and 12pm
  • Wednesday 6 September between 2pm and 3pm

Further information is in the funding guidance for stage 2 of the local skills improvement fund (PDF, 348 KB, 35 pages).

Details about how to join these sessions will be available in the Jaggaer e-tendering platform.

You can register to use Jaggaer. Once you’re registered, search for ‘6955_Local Skills Improvement Fund 2023-25’.

Help with applications

Use the Jaggaer portal to:

  • get help with registration
  • submit any questions or clarification requests
Published 24 May 2023
Last updated 19 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include a link to the lead applicants for the LSIF in each area.

  2. Updated for stage 2 of the application process.

  3. First published.