Results of batch IV of historic building revitalisation scheme announced (with photos/video)

     The Development Bureau announced today (June 16) that three projects proposed by non-profit-making organisations have been selected to revitalise No. 12 School Street in Tai Hang, the Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters in Pok Fu Lam and the Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre in Sheung Shui under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.

     No. 12 School Street (a Grade 3 historic building) will be converted by the Tai Hang Residents' Welfare Association into the "Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre", which will introduce the history and culture of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon. The Centre will also run courses and programmes to promote traditional Hakka culture, and will house a Fire Dragon-themed restaurant to promote Hakka food culture.

     The Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters (a Grade 1 historic building) will be revitalised into "Pokfulam Farm" by Caritas-Hong Kong. Pokfulam Farm will present the history of the Old Dairy Farm and display some of its artifacts and utensils, and there will be workshops for visitors to experience how dairy products are made. Visitors will also be able to join guided tours, workshops and activities to learn more about the culture of Pokfulam village and the surrounding area.

     The Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre (a Grade 2 historic building) will be turned into the "Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre Eco-Learn Institute" by Sik Sik Yuen and the Incorporated Management Committee of Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical Centre. The Institute will provide education programmes on biodiversity for the local community and will also have an agricultural corner modelled on the local rural ecological environment with the aim of helping to promote sustainable farming.

     The Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, said at a press conference, "These creative proposals will give a new lease of life to the three historic buildings and bring social benefits to the community. The public can get to appreciate and use the historic buildings, thereby enhancing their understanding of the past and their awareness of conserving and revitalising the historic buildings."

     Mr Chan expressed his gratitude to the Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings for its dedication in selecting the best adaptive re-use for the historic buildings under the revitalisation scheme.

     The Government will earmark funding of $120 million to renovate the three historic buildings and another $9 million for subsidising the initial operation of the projects. These revitalisation projects will create about 108 full-time jobs during the renovation period, and around 50 or more full-time or part-time jobs upon commissioning. The projects are expected to be completed and come into operation in 2019.

     The Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings held 10 meetings to assess 26 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.

     In respect of King Yin Lei (a declared monument) under the same batch of the revitalisation scheme, the Committee did not select any proposals.

     The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Bernard Chan, said, "The Committee believes that society has high expectations of the revitalisation project of King Yin Lei. The successful project should meet the threshold in all five assessment aspects to justify the spending of public money."

     The Committee considered that King Yin Lei has already been placed in the revitalisation scheme twice but no suitable revitalisation plan has been proposed. Even if the project is re-launched in the next batch of the revitalisation scheme, a suitable proposal which meets the selection threshold may not be identified.

     The Secretary for Development has accepted the Committee's recommendation that King Yin Lei will not be included in the next batch of the revitalisation scheme for applications. The Government will continue to manage King Yin Lei and open it for public enjoyment. It is examining the long-term use of King Yin Lei and will announce further details in due course. In the meantime, the Government will renovate and enhance King Yin Lei to facilitate public appreciation and use of this declared monument.

     Details of the selected projects can be found at

     The Government launched the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme in 2008 to invite proposals to revitalise selected government-owned buildings in the form of social enterprises. 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 enterprise, on the prerequisite that the social enterprise proposal is projected to become self-sustainable after this initial period.

Ends/Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:14