92. Heritage conservation is essential to the quality of the city. With the support of new heritage conservation policies and additional resources, much has been done in the past 20 months. The Development Bureau has just announced the results of the first batch of historic buildings under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme. I hope that the Legislative Council will give early funding approval for these six revitalisation projects, which are conducive to the development of local arts and culture, tourism, education, the creative economy and Chinese medicine.
93. The capital cost of these projects is approximately $500 million, which is about half of the fund earmarked for the scheme. To enable more historic buildings owned by the Government to benefit from the scheme, I propose to earmark an additional sum under the Capital Works Reserve Fund to bring the total amount of uncommitted funds under the scheme back to
$1 billion so that applications can be invited for the second batch of historic buildings in the first half of this year as scheduled. To encourage private owners to conserve historic buildings graded by the Antiquities Advisory Board, and given that the Board will soon complete the grading of some 1440 historic buildings, I have increased the provision for maintenance grants and raised the ceiling of financial support for each application.