Govt names partners for restoration of four historic buildings

July 06, 2018 17:22
The Development Bureau announces the winning proposals for the latest batch of historic buildings to be revitalized under the partnership scheme. Photo: Conserve and Revitalise Hong Kong Heritage

The Development Bureau has announced the new partners for its heritage restoration program.

The latest projects to be renovated under its Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, are the Roberts Block of the Old Victoria Barracks, Fanling Luen Wo Market, the former Lau Fau Shan Police Station and Watervale House of the former Gordon Hard Camp in Tuen Mun, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The scheme seeks to conserve and redevelop the city's historic buildings in partnership with non-profit organizations.

The competition for the Roberts Block was the most fierce, but the proposal from Christian Oi Hip Fellowship won over that of Nan Huai Jin Culture Foundation.

The block, part of the old Victoria Barracks on Kennedy Road in Mid-Levels, will be converted into the Roberts Block Open HeArts Centre for creative arts and therapy programs to promote psychological and emotional health.

The Luen Wo Market in Fanling received eight proposals, but it was the proposal from the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service that was chosen.

The market will be turned into the House of Urban and Rural Living, where vegetables and other local farm products as well as daily necessities will be sold.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association will redevelop the former Lau Fau Shan Police Station near Tin Shui Wai into a guide dogs academy.

The academy, which can accommodate the training of 20 to 30 dogs at the same time, seeks to address the shortage of guide dogs in Hong Kong, said Lam Wai Pong, the association's executive director.

Watervale House of the former Gordon Hard Camp will be transformed into Tuen Mun Soul Oasis by the Tuen Mun Soul Oasis Foundation to promote a “positive lifestyle through workshops, talks and courses on positive thinking and spiritual development".

It will also have a restaurant featuring Gurkha food to remind visitors of its past as an army training camp and British officers’ mess.

The government will fund the four projects with HK$365 million for restoration work and HK$18 million for initial operation.

The revitalization projects are expected to operate in 2022 or 2023 and provide around 124 positions.

The announcement did not include the Fong Yuen Study Hall, which was originally under the same batch of revitalization projects, because none of the two proposals passed.

The bureau explained that in one proposal, the information was not sufficient, while the other one did not meet the self-financing standard. 

The study hall project will be included in the next batch.

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