Creative proposals selected under Batch II of Revitalisation Scheme (with photo/video)Three creative and quality projects proposed by non-profit-making organisations (NPOs) have been selected to preserve and revitalise the Old Tai Po Police Station, the Blue House Cluster and the Stone Houses under the second batch of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme).
The Old Tai Po Police Station (a Grade 1 historic building) will be converted by Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation into a Green Hub for sustainable living. It will provide educational programmes and training camps, organise an Eat Well Programme for the promotion of healthy eating, and run a heritage museum and trails.
St James' Settlement will turn the Blue House Cluster (Blue House: Grade 1; Yellow House: Grade 3; Orange House: Not yet graded) in Wan Chai into a multi-functional services complex. It will organise a residential scheme for original and new tenants, cultural and educational programmes, run heritage tours, and operate two eateries. It will also conserve the cocklofts inside the show flats to display the living conditions in the early days of Hong Kong.
Wing Kwong So-Care Company Limited will set up a themed Cafeteria-cum-Visitor Information Centre in Stone Houses (a Grade 3 historic building) in Kowloon City. It will organise educational programmes, guided tours, exhibitions and seminars to illustrate the history of Kowloon City and various heritage sites in the district.
Announcing the selection results at a press briefing today (September 15), the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, expressed confidence that all the projects selected would be able to deliver the dual objectives of the Revitalisation Scheme, namely, to preserve the historic buildings as well as to serve the local community.
"As buildings under Batch I of the Revitalisation Scheme are progressing well, I am pleased to see another batch of creative projects which will no doubt further our commitment to give a new lease of life to government-owned historic buildings for public enjoyment and enrich our heritage conservation work," Mrs Lam said.
"The Blue House Cluster poses a significant challenge as the NPO has to accommodate sitting tenants who prefer to stay as part and parcel of the conservation project. There are a total of eight domestic households comprising 21 residents.
"In line with the people-oriented approach, those sitting tenants have been consulted on their aspirations which in turn have been taken into account by the Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings in the selection process," she added.
The three selected projects are estimated to cost about $127 million for renovation and another $8.3 million to help meet initial running expenses of the three social enterprises operating from the buildings. These revitalisation projects will create about 180 jobs during the construction period, and about 62 full-time and part-time jobs upon commissioning. It is estimated that the revitalisation projects will be completed in the second half of 2013.
Mrs Lam expressed her gratitude to members of the Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings for their hard work and dedication in selecting the best adaptive re-uses for the historic buildings under both Batch I and II of the Revitalisation Scheme.
The committee chairman, Mr Bernard Chan, said that the committee had spent about 19 hours in seven meetings to assess 38 applications submitted by 36 NPOs.
All the applications were scrutinised in accordance with a marking scheme comprising 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.
"The committee did not select any proposals for two other buildings included under Batch II, namely, the Former Fanling Magistracy (a Grade 3 historic building) and the Old House at Wong Uk Village (a declared monument) because the committee considered that the proposals received could not meet the high threshold required under the Revitalisation Scheme," Mr Chan said.
The Secretary for Development has accepted the committee's recommendations to include the Former Fanling Magistracy in another round of applications in the future whereas the declared monument of the Old House at Wong Uk Village should be kept intact.
The Development Bureau will work closely with the selected applicants of the second batch in the Revitalisation Scheme in taking forward the funding proposals and assist them in complying with the various administrative and statutory procedures.
Details of the selected projects can be found at http://www.heritage.gov.hk/.
Ends/Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:01
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