A financing agreement worth more than Rs4.6 billion (€22 million) has been signed by the government of Pakistan and the government of France, through the French Development Agency (FDA), to provide technical and financial support for the restoration of the Lahore Fort.

A special heritage site in Pakistan is to be protected and restored as part of the HURL (Heritage & Urban Regeneration in Lahore) project. The areas of focus will be increasing economic activity, promoting tourism, and preparing local communities for climate change.

The walled city and fort of Lahore, which is in the middle of an 11 million-person metropolis, is made up of numerous unique structures with exceptional historical and cultural value as well as numerous compact ancient neighbourhoods.


The fort faced numerous threats to its integrity, which led to UNESCO listing it as a World Heritage Site in Danger in 1981. The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and the Punjab government launched a ten-year conservation initiative to develop and restore the site in 2012.


The French government is delighted to be supporting this attempt through AFD: “France is proud to be part of the ambitious plan of the Punjab government to develop and promote the unique cultural heritage of Lahore,” said Nicolas Galey, the French ambassador to Pakistan.

By enhancing the tourist attraction of the locations and enhancing the living conditions of the riparian populations, the restoration and development of the Lahore Fort surroundings will be a potent engine of sustainable economic development of the City.

The HURL project will be financed over a five-year period. It is anticipated that this will strengthen the Lahore Fort’s resilience, generate more income and employment opportunities, particularly for women and the transgender community, and contribute to the restoration and improvement of the fort.

By including the neighbourhoods surrounding the fort as a growth interface, it will also increase tourism development and strengthen the capacity of WCLA and its associates.

The AFD is reaffirming its dedication to Lahore’s urban development by funding this project. This significant undertaking is just the beginning of the French government’s efforts to support the restoration of South Asian heritage.