Monday 27 June 2016


  Fund will aim to protect and conserve cultural sites around the world                                                                                                                   

The UK’s new £30million Cultural Protection Fund is now open to arts, culture and heritage organisations. Potential applicants can find more details on how to apply to the Fund here:

Managed by the British Council – the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations – in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Fund aims to foster, safeguard and promote cultural heritage overseas.

The Fund will provide grants to organisations to support vital work on protecting cultural heritage in countries in the Middle East and North Africa region including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Eligible organisations who are successful in applying to the Fund will work in partnership with bodies in these countries 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 & promote cultural assets which will benefit the local economy
  • ·         Through education and advocacy programmes, 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.

        The Fund is a key part of the British Council’s work in Culture and Development overseas, which focuses on ambitious, artistic and creative initiatives that foster social cohesion, freedom of expression, inclusive institutions, dynamic communities, and improved social and economic well-being.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale said:

"Cultural property is of huge importance and helps people better understand their shared history. At a time when some of the world's most important heritage assets are under threat, this fund, together with our ratification of the Hague Convention, will help us protect cultural heritage in the Middle East and North Africa. 

"I urge organisations with an interest in this area to consider putting in a bid for funding. Limiting the human costs of global conflicts will always be our priority, however this investment will give vital support for countries where cultural heritage is at risk.”

British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, said:

“The academic and research sectors in the UK have a wealth of skills and expertise which are vital to protecting cultural heritage across the globe. The intrinsic value of cultural heritage is immeasurable. I look forward to seeing the projects and partnerships which are developed as a result of the Fund.

On Thursday 19 May 2016 the DCMS introduced the Cultural Property Bill into the House of Lords, which will ratify the 1954 Hague Convention to protect cultural property at risk due to conflict and accede to its two Protocols. This Bill will make the UK the first permanent member of the Security Council to have ratified both the Convention and its two Protocols.

Notes to Editor

For more information about the Cultural Protection Fund and how to apply visit [ ]

The Fund’s target countries are: Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen.

For media requests and more information about the British Council contact

Amelia Wells, Press Officer 020 3285 3711

About the British Council’s work in Culture and Development

Our Culture and Development team support the building of creative, open, inclusive and secure societies. We currently operate thirteen Official Development Assistance projects in some of the most difficult operating environments across the globe. Our work focuses on ambitious, artistic and creative initiatives that foster social cohesion, freedom of expression, inclusive institutions, dynamic communities, and improved social and economic well-being. We develop structured and sustainable programmes that encourage engagement and a strong sense of cultural identity at an individual and a community level. Our approach includes safely connecting with the past in order to explore new futures and to generate new opportunities. This helps to build individual resilience, encourage community engagement, protect vital cultural heritage, and support policy development.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 16 per cent of our turnover which last year was £973 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and