The Government today (February 22) invited non-profit-making organisations (NPOs) to submit proposals for seven historic buildings under the "Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme".
Deputy Secretary (Works) of the Development Bureau, Miss Janet Wong, said, "The scheme aims to preserve and put historic buildings into innovative use, transform historic buildings into unique cultural landmarks, and promote active public participation in the conservation of historic buildings.
"We hope that eligible NPOs will make use of the historic buildings to achieve the dual objectives of promoting social enterprise and putting historic buildings to good use."
The scheme was first announced in the Chief Executive's 2007-08 Policy Address and is one of the major initiatives underpinning the Government's heritage conservation policy.
The first batch of historic buildings selected for the scheme are Lui Seng Chun, Lai Chi Kok Hospital, North Kowloon Magistracy, the Old Tai Po Police Station, the Old Tai O Police Station, Fong Yuen Study Hall and Mei Ho House.
NPOs with charitable status under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance are eligible to submit proposals to revitalise the buildings.
Successful applicants will be given funding support, which includes a grant to cover the cost of major renovation to the buildings, and a grant to meet the starting costs and operating deficits of the proposed social enterprise for a maximum of the first two years of operation subject to a ceiling of $5 million per building. In addition, nominal rent will be charged for the historic buildings.
A committee comprising representatives from relevant Government bureaus and departments and experts in the fields of heritage conservation and social enterprise operation will be set up to consider applications and related matters.
A series of open days with guided tours will be arranged next month (March) for prospective applicants to view the seven historic buildings. A workshop will also be organised in due course to answer enquiries on application.
The application form and resource kits containing the historical background of the buildings, conservation guidelines, as well as other useful information can be obtained from the Scheme Secretariat at 21/F, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central. They are also available for downloading from the Development Bureau's website on heritage (www.heritage.gov.hk).
The deadline for applications is May 21, 2008.
Ends/Friday, February 22, 2008
Issued at HKT 17:15