Cultural Protection Fund 2016-2020

Status: Open to applications
Application Deadline: 10 August 2018


Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for projects focusing on the protection of cultural heritage under threat in one or more of the Fund’s target countries.

Maximum Value: £ 300,000

Value Notes

There are two levels of funding available for this final round:

  • Small grants of between £5,000 and £100,000.
  • One-off additional grants of up to £300,000 for projects being delivered until January 2020.

The maximum total amount of funding which can be awarded to any lead applicant during the life of the fund (2016-2020) is £3 million.

Extended Description

The £30 million Cultural Protection Fund was established by the Government in 2016 to support projects focusing on the protection of cultural heritage under threat in one or more of the Fund’s target countries. The fund is being administered by the British Council on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The funding is aimed at supporting not-for-profit organisations that protect cultural heritage in countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Cultural heritage includes many different things from the past that communities value and want to pass on to future generations.

Examples include:

  • Archaeological sites and monuments.
  • Collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives.
  • Historic buildings.
  • Historic landscapes, gardens and parks.
  • Cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, crafts, music, dance and costumes.
  • Histories of people, communities, places and events.
  • Heritage of languages and dialects.
  • People’s memories and experiences (often recorded as ‘oral history’).

Latest Information

The Cultural Protection Fund is coming to a close. There will be one last small grants round and a one-off additional round for grants of up to £300,000.

There are two separate deadlines for Expressions of Interest:

  • 10 August for Small Grants.
  • 24 August for Closing Round Grants.

Key Criteria

Non-governmental organisations (NGO), charity or voluntary organisations, public sector organisations, and academic institutions based in the UK can apply.

Local partner organisations can be an academic institution, a public sector organisation, a charity or voluntary organisation, a company.

Eligible Expenditure

Projects (work or activity) must seek to achieve at least one of the following three Cultural Protection Fund's outcomes:

  • The protection of heritage and cultural property under threat in the target countries.
  • Capacity building and training for those involved in protecting heritage and cultural property in target countries.
  • Advocacy and education related to the protection of heritage and cultural property in target countries.

Applications must relate directly to one or more of the Fund’s current target countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Yemen

 The funding can be used to cover direct project costs, which include:

  • New staff positions to deliver the project.
  • Extra hours for existing staff to deliver the project.
  • The cost of filling a post left empty by moving an existing member of staff into a post created for the project.
  • Payments/bursaries for trainees.
  • Professional fees.
  • Capital work.
  • Activities relating to learning, advocacy and community engagement.
  • Evaluation.
  • Promotion.
  • Extra costs for the organisation, such as a new telephone, extra photocopying, new computers or extra rent.
  • First-party insurance costs.

All projects must be completed and grants paid by April 2020. The project activity must be completed by 31 January 2020.

Match Funding Restrictions

Although match funding is not required, applicants are encouraged to make a contribution from their own funds or other grant sources.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Sole traders.
  • The cost of existing staff time (unless the project is transferring an existing member of staff into a new post to deliver the project).
  • Existing organisational costs.
  • Purchase of land.

It is unlikely that capital projects involving significant amounts of redevelopment or new building work will be a high priority of funding.

Application Procedure

All documents and online forms can be found on the British Council website.

Contact the British Council for further information.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
British Council