Proposal for revitalising Former North Kowloon Magistracy announced (with photos)
The Development Bureau announced today (December 8) that a project proposed by the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong has been selected to revitalise the Former North Kowloon Magistracy in Sham Shui Po under Batch VI of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme).
The Former North Kowloon Magistracy (a Grade 2 historic building) will be converted into the "NK Future" by the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong. The project will set up a universal judicial education centre to continue the judicial spirit and traditions of the Magistracy. It will also use the building as a starting point to connect the communities with heritage assets of the district, linking up traditional and new cultural resources so as to promote local culture and creative arts. A wide range of activities will be organised for the general public under four main themes, namely judicial education, Hong Kong culture, partnership and co-sharing, and leisure life.
Revitalisation of the project is expected to be complete, with its operation to commence, in 2026. A substantial part of the historic building will be open to the public. Free guided tours and open days will be organised to provide more opportunities for the public to appreciate the historic building and enjoy its facilities, thereby enhancing their understanding and awareness of conserving and revitalising historic buildings.
The Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, said the project will give new life to the Former North Kowloon Magistracy and bring social benefits to the community. She expressed gratitude to members of the Advisory Committee on Built Heritage Conservation (ACBHC) for their precious time, dedication and professionalism in assessing the applications and selecting the best and the most suitable adaptive re-use for the historic building.
The Government will earmark funding of about $160.5 million to subsidise the renovation of the Former North Kowloon Magistracy and another $5 million to subsidise the initial operation of the project. It is expected to create over 30 jobs.
The ACBHC has assessed 30 applications received in accordance with the following five criteria:
* reflection of historical value and significance;
* technical aspects;
* social value and social enterprise operation;
* financial viability; and
* management capability and other considerations.
Details of the selected projects can be found at the heritage conservation website (www.heritage.gov.hk).
The Government launched the Revitalisation Scheme in 2008 to invite proposals from non-profiting-making organisations to revitalise selected government-owned historic buildings in the form of social enterprise for operating in a self-sustainable manner. Where justified, the Government will provide financial support to the selected organisations, including one-off grants to cover the cost of major renovation of the buildings, in part or in full; nominal rental for the buildings; and one-off grants to meet the starting costs and operating deficits of the social enterprises for a maximum of the first two years of operation at a ceiling of $5 million per project.