NHB to lead complete survey of historical sites

NHB to lead complete survey of historical sites

A nationwide heritage survey of the Republic's tangible and intangible heritage will soon be rolled out.

The aim is to get a more complete understanding of historical sites and their values across the island, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament yesterday.

The survey will take into account factors such as the age of buildings, the places where significant historical events took place, and the architectural, social and cultural value of certain landmarks to the community.

This study will be led by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

A heritage research grant will be launched to provide funding to encourage members of institutions of higher learning such as academics and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to plug gaps in heritage research and delve into new areas within the field.

Their findings will be incorporated into the heritage survey.

A heritage advisory panel comprising members from NGOs and other experts across disciplines will also be formed.

These experts will contribute to the survey and advise on best practices, including those used in other countries, said Mr Wong.

He added that the NHB, using findings from the survey, will work with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to "enhance heritage considerations" at each stage of the land planning process, including the 10-year Concept Plan or the five-year Master Plan.

Mr Wong also announced that the ministry will more than double its National Monuments Fund from $5 million to $12 million over the next five years.

The fund will include a new maintenance component which non-profit monument owners can apply for to alleviate some costs of upkeep and to prevent deterioration.

The funding cap per applicant has also been raised from $1 million to $1.5 million to better cope with rising restoration costs.

This article was first published on March 13, 2015.
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