The Cultural Protection Fund reopens for grant applications

The British Council has announced that it is inviting applications for grants over £100k towards cultural protection projects in the Middle East and North Africa

The Cultural Protection Fund currently supports a variety of projects, protecting heritage at risk, predominantly in areas of the Middle East and North Africa affected by conflict.

The new grants are aimed at organisations working with local partners in one or more of the Fund’s target countries.  They are invited to apply for grants of up to £2 million for projects that focus on  the protection of cultural heritage at risk due to conflict.

The Fund launched in June 2016.  It now supports 19 projects in conflict-affected countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

The aim is to build skills so local experts are in a position to protect their own cultural assets for future generations.  The plan is that sites under threat should be documented, conserved and restored.  The hope is that local people can come to identify and value their cultural heritage.

Current projects include documenting and protecting the fortified archaeological site of Rum Kale.  The walled settlement is set on a steep crag above the Euphrates River and has been hugely impacted by the conflict in Syria.  The two year project aims to enable better site management and a masterplan for restoration.

As heritage sites in Syria continue to experience grave and immediate threat, a further project aims to train Syrians in digital documentation techniques in order to document sites at risk.  Photographic data will be collected in order to create 3D models and accurate pictures of threatened sites.

The University of Liverpool has recently been awarded funding to work with displaced Yazidis in Iraq. 15 displaced young Yazidis will be trained in documentation techniques to safeguard memories of historic shrines.

Further projects are currently running in Cairo, the Upper Tigris Valley, Palestine, Tunis, south-east Turkey, Yemen, and Lebanon.

The grant process will start on 5th September 2017 when updated application guidance will be issued.  Applicants should first complete an online expression of interest.  Full details can be found here. https://www.britishcouncil.org/arts/culture-development/cultural-protection-fund/apply/large-grants

Small grants (up to £100k) are also available on a rolling basis.  More details can be found here: https://www.britishcouncil.org/arts/culture-development/cultural-protection-fund/apply/small-grants

Image © Factum Foundation