British Council opens latest round of Cultural Protection Fund grants

Main Image: A multi-period site along the Garzan Valley in the province of Batman in south-east Turkey. © Photographer: Caner Şenyuva Gre Amer Excavation Archive

Set up in 2016, the Cultural Protection Fund is inviting applications for large grants between £100k and £2m from organisations in the Middle East and North Africa

The Cultural Protection Fund is an initiative of the UK government, which has dedicated £30 million in overseas development assistance funding between 2016 and 2020 to support cultural heritage in conflict-affected countries.

The fund, which is managed by the British Council in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is focused on supporting organisations that protect cultural heritage in countries in the Middle East and North Africa region including Afghanistan, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia. Lebanon, Turkey, Libya and Yemen.

Successful applicants will use the grants to: ensure cultural heritage under threat is researched, documented, conserved and restored to safeguard against permanent loss help build the capacity of local professionals and ensure they have sufficient business or specialist skills to manage and promote cultural assets which will benefit the local economy help local people to identify and value cultural heritage, and have a good understanding of what can be done to protect their cultural heritage and the role it plays in society and the economy.

An example is the Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey project, which was awarded £923,660 to build capacity and raise awareness for safeguarding archaeological assets in Turkey, with a focus on those in south-eastern provinces, Antalya and Istanbul.

The overarching objective of the Fund, says the British Council, is to help create sustainable opportunities for social and economic development through building capacity to foster, safeguard and promote cultural heritage in conflict-affected countries.

The Fund will support efforts to keep cultural heritage sites and objects safe, as well as supporting the recording, conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. It will also provide opportunities to local communities for training and education, enabling and empowering them in the long term to value, care for and benefit from their cultural heritage.

The expression of interest deadline is November 3, 2017 and application deadline January 31, 2018 and more information can be found on the British Council website.