Future visitors to some of Singapore's national monuments will be in for a pleasant surprise once restoration works for these buildings are complete.
One of Singapore's first gazetted national monuments, the Cathedral of Good Shepherd, will have new features including a meticulously restored neo-classical ceiling, new tiled floors mirroring its original chequered design as well as a newly reinforced foundation and structural roof and walls.
This year, a total of $2.32 million will be disbursed via the enhanced National Monuments Fund (NMF) to 23 national monuments, including the Cathedral of Good Shepherd, said the National Heritage Board (NHB) in a statement on Thursday (May 19).
Therefore, more monuments and their owners will be able to benefit from the enhanced fund with greater support in their restoration and maintenance works.
The enhanced NMF also includes a new category of funding for maintenance. This new maintenance fund has been allocated $2 million and is aimed at ensuring that stakeholders conduct regular maintenance work and avoid building deterioration.
This inaugural disbursement of NMF's new maintenance fund will have more than $100,000 dedicated to the maintenance works of 20 national monuments including Al-Abrar Mosque, Chesed-El Synagogue, Hong San See, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, St Joseph's Church, Tan Si Chong Su and Sri Perumal Temple.
Additionally, the enhanced NMF also sees an increase in restoration fund.
The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is among the recipients that will benefit from this increase as the monument will be supported in terms of treatment and repair works to its wall surfaces, and for the repainting of its façade in mineral paint, which is a special type of paint more suited to the monument's historic fabric.
Director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) division under the NHB Ms Jean Wee said: "Maintaining old buildings like our National Monuments is not an easy task, and requires much commitment and funds from the owners.
"We recognise this and with the enhanced NMF, we are able to help more monument owners with the rising costs of such works. This is a joint effort to ensure that our monuments will be preserved for posterity."