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Kate Pugh (Chair Cultural Protection Fund Advisory Group & Alex Bishop) - The UK’s Cultural Protection Fund
Cultural Relations at Work - Jean Monnet project
Reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage in the EU Neighborhood South
The Royal Society, London
(October 22-23, 2018)
The UK’s Cultural Protection Fund
Speakers: Kate Pugh, Chair Cultural Protection Fund Advisory Group & Alex Bishop, Grants
Manager Cultural Protection Fund
Profile of the Fund. The
Cultural Protection Fund
(CPF) received £30 million
from the UK Government over
the period 2016-2020. The
Fund is a partnership between
the British Council and the
Department for Culture,
Media, and Sport (DCMS).It is
managed and delivered by the
British Council. The objective
of the Fund is to safeguard
and restore tangible and
intangible cultural heritage
affected by conflict in the
wider MENA region by
responding to locally identified
development needs, with the
involvement of global
and local partners. The Fund offers mid and long term, small (£5K-£100K) and large (£100K-
£3million) grants, which are assigned after a transparent and robust decision-making process. So
far, the CPF has received almost 1000 expressions of interest, with a success rate of 20-30% after
Figure 1. Eligible countries. CPF presentation
Profile of funded projects
The CPF mainly promotes
cooperation between UK
organisations and local
partners. In more detail, 52%
of projects are led by UK
organisations, 37% of projects
are led by organisations based
within target countries, and
11% of projects are led by
organisations that are based
elsewhere in the world. As for
the nature of funded projects,
a majority (39%) deal primarily
with built heritage and
archaeology & monuments
(28%), two projects out of ten
are devoted to museums,
libraries and archives, and
there is also room for the
protection and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (12%). Projects must fit ODA (Official
Development Assistance) requirements.
Outcomes. The CPF has three
1. Cultural heritage protection:
Cultural heritage under threat is
conserved and restored to
safeguard against permanent
2. Training and capacity
building: Local professionals
have sufficient business or
specialist skills to be able to
manage and promote cultural
assets which [will] benefit the
local economy and society.
3. Advocacy and education:
Local people are able to identify and value their 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
Première Urgence Internationale
Location: Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestinian Territories
Figure 2. Projects by location. CPF presentation
Figure 3. Grantee countries. CPF Presentation
Partners: L’école Biblique et Archéologique de Jérusalem (OPT), The Islamic University (OPT),
Palestine University (OPT)
Objective: to carry out protection activity at two archaeological sites in Gaza; one site hit by airstrikes
and burnt and the other with mosaics run over by tanks. One used to be only archaeological site
open to the public in Gaza, and it is now open again. The project includes significant amounts of
training in heritage skills for students and local government officials, as well as bringing very large
numbers of Gazans to visit the sites.
Partners: direct, no partnership
Objective: to safeguard Syrian intangible cultural heritage in the form of mud-brick architecture.
Syrian master artisans train other refugees (displaced people from the North of Syria to Lebanon).
The project supports the construction industry and also gives potential for returning families (to Syria)
to rebuild a house.
Royal botanic garden Edinburgh
Partners: Environmental Protection Authority, Yemen, TOPOI Excellence Cluster, Germany,
Senckenberg Society for Nature Conservation, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Objective: The project builds on a wider existing natural heritage project (20M US Dollars). The
objective is to create an inventory of cultural heritage on Soqotra (a Yemeni archipelago)including
intangible cultural heritage. This includes training people in how to use it as a tool in planning and
make this happen.
Rationale for CPF. The CPF has been implemented following a practical and a moral commitment.
The increase in the destruction of heritage has prompted the UK government to align UK national
policy with international standards, including the ratification of the Hague Convention in September
2017. The increasing interest in cultural heritage protection is also due to the potential of heritage
as a driver of social and economic sustainable development.
CPF in context. The CPF aims to foster international cooperation based on openness and flexibility.
Its Theory of Change is also based on value for money and sustainability, this is why the Fund also
relies on external advisors to set parameters, shape strategic directions, monitor and evaluate. All
in all, the CPF was patterned after an idea for a collaborative device for social, economic, and
Core principles of the CPF. CPF activity rests on some basic principles:
- Open fund with transparent eligibility criteria and outcomes-based approach;
- Broad and inclusive definition of cultural heritage and its value to communities;
- Projects responding to locally identified development needs and involving local partners;
- Decision making informed by appropriate expertise, best practice and awareness of
- A high-quality user experience for applicants and grant recipients.
The future of the Fund. To date, current funding allocation is almost complete, as money has
already been allocated up to 2020. There is potential for expansion if further funding is secured. To
do so, it is crucial to look at the overall impact of the Fund to date as well as areas of unmet need to
help shape proposals for any future iteration of the Fund. To strengthen the Fund’s capabilities,
complementarity is key. Such awareness is very important due to the number of actors; funders need
to take a joined-up approach. This could be brought into the CPF work in the Cultural Heritage
Funders Network, which includes other relevant funders such as the new ALIPH foundation.