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Government invites revitalisation proposals for four historic buildings (with photo/video)

The Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau is inviting proposals from non-profit-making organisations to revitalise four historic buildings under Batch IV of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.

The buildings are No. 12 School Street, the Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters on Pok Fu Lam Road, Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre in Kwu Tung, Sheung Shui, and King Yin Lei on Stubbs Road.

Announcing the latest batch of the Revitalisation Scheme at a press conference today (December 16), the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, said the Scheme aims to preserve and revitalise government-owned historic buildings so as to give them a new lease of life and bring economic and social benefits to society.

Mr Chan said that, including the latest batch, four batches of buildings have been launched under the scheme. The 12 projects selected under the first three batches are at different stages of development. The six projects under Batch I, i.e. the Former North Kowloon Magistracy, the Old Tai O Police Station, Lui Seng Chun, Fong Yuen Study Hall, Mei Ho House and Phase One of the Former Lai Chi Kok Hospital, have come into operation. He highlighted that two of the projects have received UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The Former North Kowloon Magistracy, which was revitalised as the Hong Kong Campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design, received an Honourable Mention in 2011 while the Old Tai O Police Station, which was revitalised as the Tai O Heritage Hotel, received an Award of Merit this year.

Looking ahead, he said he expected that the revitalisation works of two projects would be completed in 2014, and another four would be completed between 2015 and 2017.

Introducing the Batch IV buildings in the press conference, Mr Chan said that No. 12 School Street, a Grade 3 historic building, was constructed in 1949 to replace an earlier pre-war building named Hung Shing Yi Hok (literally, Confucius free school for the poor), founded in the late Qing Dynasty.

The Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters was built in 1887 and is a Grade 1 historic building. It is one of the oldest remaining Dairy Farm buildings in Hong Kong and used to be the home of the farm manager.

Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre is a Grade 2 historic building and was built by the Government in 1932-33 with donations from Sir Robert Ho Tung for use as a welfare centre for local residents. The centre was one of the first rural clinics established in the New Territories and served residents of the entire district.

King Yin Lei was the first privately owned historic building preserved through the provision of economic incentives. This declared monument was previously included under Batch III of the Revitalisation Scheme. The Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings recommended that the project should be withdrawn from Batch III and relaunched in Batch IV so that a more suitable revitalisation proposal could be identified and the building could be put to better use.

"Public access and enjoyment is one of the key selection criteria in the Revitalisation Scheme. Applicants should open the whole or part of the historic building to the public for appreciation on the premise that the social enterprise operation therein is not affected," Mr Chan said.

Open days with guided tours will be arranged from January 14 to 17, 2014, for prospective applicants to visit the four historic buildings. A workshop will also be held on January 24, 2014, for interested organisations to learn more about the application procedures and assessment criteria for project proposals.

The guide to application, the application form, the resource kits containing the historical backgrounds of the four buildings and conservation guidelines, as well as other useful information, can be obtained from the Revitalisation Scheme Secretariat on 19/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, or at www.heritage.gov.hk. 

The deadline for submission of applications is noon on April 15, 2014.

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Ends/Monday, December 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:19

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