No. 12 School Street: Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre
- Selected applicant: Tai Hang Residents' Welfare Association
- Capital cost: About HK$36.02 million (as at Dec 2013 price level)
- Government subsidy required for operation of social enterprise: About HK$1.71 million
General Project Description
- To revitalise No. 12 School Street, originally known as “Hung Shing Yi Hok” (literally, “Confucius free school for the poor), into Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre. The proposal aims to preserve and pass on the heritage of Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance which has been inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage, preserve the local legacy of Hakka culture, and engage the community in heritage conservation. The fire dragon themed restaurant operated in a social-enterprise-run model is also one of the core elements of the project.
- The project includes:
- A Fire Dragon Heritage Centre on the ground floor to showcase related artefacts, video and culture, as well as to reveal the history and significance of the Tai Hang district and the historic building.
- A Fire Dragon Themed Restaurant on the 1st and 2nd floors to provide a unique experience for visitors who will be able to appreciate the fire dragon cultural heritage whilst enjoying the specialty of food and beverage.
- Provision of free cultural courses to align with and continue the original purpose of the building as a place of offering traditional and free education.
The historical significance of the building will be brought out and maintained by:
- Continuing the original spirit of the building as a place of providing free education through offering free cultural courses, complemented by the operation of the fire dragon heritage centre in the mode of a social enterprise;
- Providing a platform as well as a cultural and educational space to preserve, display and pass on the rich culture and tradition of Tai Hang which was originally a Hakka village;
- Situated along the route of the fire dragon dance, the heritage centre can effectively contribute to the promotion of the history and unique tradition of the Tai Hang fire dragon dance, and noticeably strengthen the community cohesion through engagement of local community; and
- Setting up an exhibition gallery on the ground floor to reveal the historical and cultural values of Tai Hang and the historic building. Historical research, oral history interview, photographic & cartographic records, etc. will be used to preserve the history of the building and document the whole revitalisation process.
- Complying with modern day requirements;
- Preserving most architectural features and external facades;
- Introducing proper alteration works without causing extensive physical and visual impact to the building; and
- Allocating the ground floor as exhibition gallery to facilitate easy access for the public to appreciate the heritage values of the building. With the 1st and 2nd floors as Fire Dragon Themed Restaurant, visitors will be able to enjoy the specialty of Hakka and vegetarian dishes.
The project will bring benefits to the society by:
- Showcasing and passing on the local intangible cultural heritage, including the Tai Hang fire dragon dance and the traditional Hakka culture, customs and history;
- Strengthening the community cohesion and identity through engaging neighboring residents in the interpretation and guided tour activities of the heritage centre;
- Educating the younger generation on the unique local heritage of fire dragon dance, and encouraging the public appreciation of local festive tradition through the diversified educational and interactive programs organised by the heritage centre; and
- Creating a brand new and localised cultural landmark and sightseeing spot to attract local and overseas visitors.
Tai Hang Residents’ Welfare Association was founded in 1946. It is a non-profit-making organisation established in Wan Chai District. Its prime objectives are to offer diversified welfare services for those who live, study or work in the district.
- The selected organisation has to:
- complete the detailed project design;
- complete the required administrative procedures;
- seek planning permission (where applicable) from the Town Planning Board on the intended usage;
- seek formal funding approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council;
- carry out the renovation work (anticipated renovation period: around 16 months);
- apply for licences (where applicable) for intended operations; and
- sign with the Government agreements on operations of the social enterprise and preservation of the historic building.
- Anticipated Breakeven Time: Year 2