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Tai Kwun announces the first batch of leisure service operators

12/08/2015

Following the formation of programming teams to plan heritage interpretation and art activities, Tai Kwun, the operator of the revitalised Central Police Station compound, today announced the appointment of the first batch of leisure service operators.  These operators will provide services to visitors and enrich visitors’ experience, as well as provide income to help sustain the operations and maintenance of the site.

“Tai Kwun aims to transform the once closed compound into a centre for heritage and art for all to enjoy, and a key aspect of openness is to bring in operators offering diverse services at a broad price range to cater for the different needs of the visitors,” said Euan Upston, Director of CPS. 

“To support the integration of heritage, art and leisure elements, these outlets will be located at various parts of the site, providing service points for the visitors along heritage interpretation routes and between art and culture venues in the compound,” Mr. Upston said.

“Leisure service operators will be encouraged to design their offerings so as to be compatible with the character of the compound, and to hold cultural activities to support Tai Kwun’s programmes at the site,” he added.

Lifestyle Investments has been appointed to provide integrated cultural and leisure services at the Central Magistracy building under the name “The Magistracy”. It will showcase a combination of dedicated art functions, such as art galleries and art workshops with free entry, alongside food and beverage outlets, lifestyle components and retail shops in 2,100 square metres of space.  Proceeds from the retail shops will go to support art development in Hong Kong via the Sovereign Art Foundation.  (A court room and the connecting holding cell in the building, with a combined area of approximately 200 square metres, will be used by the Tai Kwun heritage programme team for heritage interpretation programmes.)

David Sarner, the CEO of Lifestyle Investments said, “We are honoured and excited to have the unique opportunity of participating in revitalising such an important symbol of Hong Kong history and contributing to the development of contemporary art and conservation of heritage in Hong Kong.”

“Not only is the iconic Neo-Classical building a symbol of Hong Kong judicial history, but it is also physically configured in such a way that allows an opportunity to activate the magnificent maze of court rooms, magistrates’ chambers and holding cells into a dynamic and vibrant integrated outlet, a destination within a destination,” Mr. Sarner said. 

“We are fully committed to using our experience in managing commercial operations in heritage buildings in the United States, Australia, Thailand and Myanmar to conserve the Central Magistracy and bring it to life again,” he added.

Hong Chi Association, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing services to people with intellectual disabilities and their families, will operate a food and beverage social enterprise called FT2, which stands for “farm to table”. The outlet will serve fresh farm food and provide a platform to show the artistic talents of the people with intellectual disabilities.

The food and beverage outlet will occupy approximately 200 square metres of ground floor space in D Hall of the Victoria Prison, the oldest dateable building in the compound.  The space will be adjacent to six prison cells which will be preserved for heritage interpretation and exhibitions, and will have open access to the adjoining Prison Yard.

“In line with our vision, FT2 will provide eight employment and training opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities,” Aldan Kwok, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association said.

“Hong Chi has had the privilege of providing food services to Hong Kong, some of which are operated in heritage buildings such as the Pinehill Village in the New Territories.   We highly value the opportunity to help revitalise D Hall.  On top of food and beverage services, we shall organise cultural workshops and art exhibitions at the premises,” Mr. Kwok said.

Menya Musashi has been appointed to operate an approximately 130 square-metre noodle shop on the ground floor of the Superintendent’s House and C Hall, two connected prison buildings bordering the police complex and the Central Magistracy.

“With minimalist decoration compatible with the environment, we shall offer affordable, value for money food and drinks for visitors looking for a short break during their exploration of various parts of the site,” Frederick Che, Marketing Director of Menya Musashi said.

The operational concepts of these operations are subject to approvals of the authorities and licensing conditions.

Selection of operators for another approximately 11 food and beverage outlets are close to completion and will be announced in batches in 2016.  A request for proposals exercise for retail operators is also underway.

Altogether the commercial operations will take up no more than 27% of the construction floor area of 27,900 square metres, and the other floor areas will be used for cultural activities, public circulation and buildings facilities.

About Tai Kwun: Centre for Heritage and Art
Tai Kwun is the trading name of The Jockey Club CPS Limited, the not-for-profit operator set up by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to operate the centre for heritage and art at the revitalised Central Police Station compound.  The Central Police Station Revitalisation Project is a partnership between the Government of the Hong Kong SAR and The Hong Kong Jockey Club. 

Tai Kwun (in Chinese: 大館 and meaning the Big Station) was the colloquial name used by police officers and the public alike to refer to the former Police Headquarters and the law enforcement complex.  The name has been adopted by The Jockey Club CPS Limited as a reminder of the historical importance of the compound.


Picture 1:
The Central Police Station compound.