The Barakat Trust Grants Programme

The Barakat Trust Grants Programme will open on 1 January 2025

The Barakat Trust Hands on Islamic Art Awards

Fostering inclusiveness and understanding through community engagement with Islamic art heritage in the United Kingdom

The Barakat Trust has recently received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create this new grant category, labeled as the C1. Hands on Islamic Art Grants.

A maximum of three grants will be awarded in this category in 2025.


Guidance on the Hands on Islamic Arts Grants


Thanks to the generous financial support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are able to offer the current grant scheme. This grant scheme will be delivered in partnership with the Subject Specialist in Islamic Art and Material Culture and others.

This category will offer grants of £8,000 plus in-kind support for projects in the United Kingdom (UK) that use collections of Islamic art in the UK to foster greater understanding about the cultures of the Islamic world, and involve a significant element of public engagement, ideally as part of the process of making collections more accessible. The grant will be open to UK institutions with collections of Islamic art and material culture. We are particularly interested in understudied collections.

Under this grant scheme, applicants can apply for grants of up to £8000 in cash. Moreover, the grant scheme also includes additional in-kind support from The Barakat Trust and its partner organisations like the ‘Subject Specialist Network in Islamic Art and Material Culture’. This in-kind support can include project mentorship, facilitation between heritage collections and community groups, covering the costs of specialists researching the collections under study, promotion and publicity of project activities.

Award duration

Project applications are normally expected for initiatives that can be delivered within a year. Projects that can be extended for a second or third year will also be considered, but the committee does not guarantee that a project funded in 2024 will be funded in subsequent years.

The aims of the C1 Hands on Islamic Art Award

The aims of this grant scheme are to enable a better public understanding of such collections, to make such collections more accessible, and, critically, to develop and deliver public engagement activities that use such collections to raise awareness about the cultures of the ‘Islamic world’, and also about links between the ‘Islamic world’ and Britain.

Who can apply

This grant is aimed primarily at museums, heritage properties, archives, community organisations, academic institutions, and individuals, enabling them to work with heritage collections of art and material culture in the UK pertaining to the ‘Islamic world’.

Proposals that will effectively involve audiences as active contributors in such projects, telling alternative histories, and enriching the interpretation of such collections by including community voices are particularly encouraged.

The project also seeks to support those who manage collections of Islamic art and material culture within the UK, but who presently lack the knowledge, ability or resources to present this heritage in effective and engaging ways. It also aims to engage effectively with members of the public who are traditionally less likely to explore heritage venues or historic collections. Such audiences include, but are not limited to, Britons whose heritage is related to regions of the world where Muslim culture has or has had a significant presence.

The projects delivered as part of this grant should provide opportunities for discovery, (including self-discovery), reflection, and greater understanding.

The lead applicants for this grant do not necessarily have to be the custodians of heritage collections. We welcome applications initiated by third parties who have obtained the consent of the custodians of the heritage collections in question or who have a compelling project that involves working with one or more UK collections. We are also happy to consider proposals submitted by third party organisations who are still in the process of trying to obtain permission to work with one or more UK collections of Islamic art and material culture.

When applying

Please note that public access to information and knowledge generated by this project is important. As such, applicants should explain how they will share the outcomes of their projects or research, including new knowledge about objects in collections and any documentation of objects that might take place. Online access should be considered an integral part of public access.

Please note:

  • To download the application form for this category (i.e. the C1. Grant Application Form), go to the Grant Application Forms webpage.
  • To submit your application and supporting documents, go to the ‘Apply Now‘ webpage. We receive far more excellent project than we are able to fund, so we cannot accept applications after the deadline.
  • Correspondence for the C1 grant category: we welcome and encourage enquiries from prospective applicants of this grant scheme before the submission of their application. Interested parties in the United Kingdom should contact The Barakat Trust for more information about this category by emailing: projects@barakat.org