Academies have in essence the same financial controls and accounting compliance as LA grant maintained schools.

find out more about leasing solutions for Academies below

Our competitively benchmarked Schools leasing solution is available to all Academies. For large specific transactions we will undertake a competitive tender to obtain the best lease rates available in the market at the time. Full disclosure of quotations and compliance with regulations for all new leases is provided.

Why Lease

Some of the benefits of leasing include:

Spread repayments over working life of the equipment

Flexible payments tailored to your needs

Period of hire to suit you

Competitive source of finance – can be less than 0% interest if the equipment is returned to the leasing company

School devolved formula capital budgets can be directed to other projects

Avoids equipment obsolescence as it is replaced regularly

Transfer of ownership risk on to the leasing company – School staff should not be asset managers

Asset management – disposal to comply with WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) where applicable

what can be leased?

A wide range of equipment can be leased or financed for academies.

equipment that can be leased includes:
ICT Equipment
Reprographics & printing
Gym Equipment
Catering Equipment
Modular Classrooms
LED Lighting
Solar PV
Synthetic Sports Pitches
Minibuses (Contract Hire)


When are payments made?

Payments may be tailored to meet cashflow, although monthly, annually or quarterly rentals are available. Leases typically run from 2 to 7 years depending on asset type.

What happens at the end of the lease?

At the end of the lease the school has the option to either return the equipment, extend the lease or buy-out the equipment via a third party such as UniLink. We will advise of the costs for these options at the outset of the lease.

Methods of Payment?

Direct Debit or you can pay by invoice, but some lessors may charge.

What if our budgets change?

We will reschedule the payments and do our best to re-arrange the agreement to suit your revised needs.

arranging a lease

Arranging a lease can be daunting. However, UniLink will guide you through the whole leasing process.

below is a quick summary of the process:

(1)You source and select the equipment that you require and negotiate the best purchase price from the supplier. We will then either provide you with a straightforward lease quotation or tailor a rental package to your specific requirements.

(2)We will then send you a short Rental Agreement for signing.

(3)We will then issue a purchase order to the supplier including invoice instructions. You then arrange with the supplier to deliver the equipment.

(4)Once delivered, and you are happy with the equipment, you then return the acceptance certificate to the leasing company who will in turn pay the supplier.

(5)You do not start making rental payments, until you are satisfied that the equipment has been delivered (and installed).


minibus leasing

Via our partner Minibus World ( we have access to significant discounts from minibus manufacturers that are available to education bodies. We are also able to quote on minibus conversions such as adapted buses for wheelchair access and lightweight buses allowing drivers without D1 car licence entitlement to drive 17 seat buses.

“We have been using UniLink for all our leasing requirements since 2012, prior to that we did it ourselves. As part of that relationship they arrange our staff and pupil iPad leasing facility on an annual basis tendering for best value for each requirement. We have just been through our first lease expiry with a UniLink introduced lease. It was straightforward and hassle free - what they said would happen is exactly what did happen. We will be continuing to use their services. ”

Martin Wainscott – Business Manager – Surrey Heath Education Trust - Surrey

“In 2013 the Academy needed assistance on an iPads Student Device scheme we wanted to introduce. We approached UniLink because of their relationship with the County Council. They listened to what we needed and implemented a finance scheme that was cost effect, gave us the flexibility we needed, especially at expiry, and was compliant with the Academies Handbook. We have continued using the services of UniLink for other projects and just recently UniLink arranged the funding for our new 3G Synthetic Pitch facility. The facility would not have been possible without UniLink’s expertise in arranging the finance and helping us through the audit and governance process.”

Colin Granlund, Director of Business & Finance, Sussex Learning Trust – West Sussex