Partners sought to revitalise historic buildings (with photo)The Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau is inviting proposals from non-profit-making organisations (NPOs) for the second batch of historic buildings under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.
Batch II covers five buildings: the Old Tai Po Police Station (relaunched), the Blue House Cluster, Former Fanling Magistracy, Old House at Wong Uk Village, and Stone Houses.
Announcing details of the scheme today (August 28), the Commissioner for Heritage, Mr Jack Chan, said, "The scheme aims to preserve and put historic buildings to innovative use, transform them into unique cultural landmarks, promote active public participation in the conservation of historic buildings and in particular create jobs at the district level.
"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."
NPOs with charitable status under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance are eligible to apply to use these buildings to provide services or business in the form of a social enterprise. Joint ventures of NPOs are welcome. Applicants who have not obtained the charitable status at the time of application submission may also apply, but must obtain such status within three months after the application deadline.
The Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings comprising government and non-government experts will assess the applications.
The Government will offer a one-stop advisory service to the successful applicants in taking forward their proposals in the areas of heritage conservation, land use and planning, building architecture, and compliance with the Buildings Ordinance.
Where justified, financial support including a one-off grant to cover the costs of major renovation to the buildings, and a grant to meet the start-up costs and operating deficits of the proposed social enterprise for up to the first two years of operation, will be provided, subject to a ceiling of $5 million. Nominal rent will be charged for the historic buildings.
A series of open days with guided tours will be arranged in September for prospective applicants to inspect the five historic buildings. A workshop will also be organised in late September to answer application enquiries.
The application form, guide to application and resource kits containing the historical background of the buildings and conservation guidelines, as well as other useful information can be obtained from the Scheme Secretariat at 21/F, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, or at http://www.heritage.gov.hk/.
The deadline for applications is noon on December 28.
Ends/Friday, August 28, 2009
Issued at HKT 11:48