Government to launch design and fashion project in Sham Shui Po
The Government today (January 9) announced its plans to launch a design and fashion project in Sham Shui Po. The project aims to help nurture a new generation of design and fashion talents and turn the district into a design and fashion landmark by creating synergy through blending and enriching the traditional garment and fabric wholesale and retail hub with design and fashion elements, thereby driving local tourism and boosting the local economy.
The project will be located in a five-storey commercial podium at the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) Tung Chau Street/Kweilin Street Demand-Led Redevelopment Project (DL-5:SSP), with a total usable floor area of about 3 600 square metres (gross floor area of about 4 300 square metres). It will be operated by the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). The URA Board approved this proposal by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) at its meeting on December 18, 2017. The tendering process and construction works are expected to commence at a later stage.
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the HKDC, Professor Eric Yim, briefed the media on details of the proposal today.
Mr Yau said, "Sham Shui Po is a district with a long history in trading of apparel, fabrics and garment-related accessories. To date, it remains an active wholesale and retail hub for those trades. There are more than 350 small and medium-sized wholesale trading enterprises and retail outlets for fabrics and related accessories along Cheung Sha Wan Road, Yu Chau Street, Ki Lung Street and Tai Nan Street, making the district one of the most favoured places for local fashion and design enthusiasts.
"With such uniqueness, there is potential ready to be unleashed by turning the wholesale/retail hub and cultural heritage into a breeding ground for our next generation of designers as well as a popular spot for networking and collaboration among designers and with other industry players. The Chief Executive announced the initiative in her 2017 Policy Address."
The use of the project will consist of three parts as follows:
The project will mainly serve as a breeding ground for local up-and-coming designers providing them with needed space to refine their vocational skills and creative abilities, showcasing their design products and staging design-related activities. Emerging designers can establish their start-ups and launch their own design products. The operation of the base will also be complementary and synergise with the wholesale/retail activities in the neighbourhood.
(B) Resource and Practice Centre
The Resource and Practice Centre will house a library with publications, fabric samples and databases to facilitate creation of design products among students and practitioners, in addition to providing a platform for establishing contacts and networking. Workshops, seminars and meetings will be held there. There will also be co-working space and supporting facilities, including a pattern-cutting room for prototyping to enable design start-ups to realise and commercialise their designs.
(C) HKDC workstations and other partners
Part of the space will house workstations of the HKDC to facilitate its on-the-ground supervision of the project's operation and liaison with different academic organisations and industry associations. The HKDC will take the lead in staging publicity and promotional activities on fashion and design; while some facilities will be operated in tandem with other industry associations or academic organisations to create synergy and maximises impacts.
The project is meant to serve design students, incubatees of the Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) and the Design Incubation Programme (DIP) administered by the HKDC, retailers and merchandisers, customers from Sham Shui Po and other districts, local fashion fans and tourists.
Mr Yau said, "This term of Government attaches great importance to development of creative industries and nurturing of young talents. The project would serve as a springboard for students wishing to join the industry and young designers aspiring to establish their start-ups. This will drive the development of all design disciplines and the local economy. It will also bring vitality to the district."
Professor Yim said, "the HKDC is committed to promoting design and related creative industries. This includes grooming new blood for the industries. The DIP and the FIP administered by the HKDC have so far nurtured more than 200 new design talents. We will endeavour to implement the policy objective of making the project a one-stop training platform and a popular spot for networking among industry players. We will enhance our exchanges with different academic organisations and industry players to get prepared for the effective operation of the project and for giving full play to its role in promoting the development of the design and fashion industry."
In addition, Mr Yau said that the implementation of the project provides the opportunity to further developing tourism in Sham Shui Po district. The Government will brand Sham Shui Po as an attractive tourism spot through the following three aspects:
(A) The CEDB has invited the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to step up publicity and promotion of Sham Shui Po district. The HKTB will launch promotional activities in the second half of 2018, such as designing sightseeing routes as well as connecting scenic spots in the district with local restaurants so as to attract tourists to explore the rich heritage and cultural characteristics of Sham Shui Po and at the same time, savour the authentic local food.
(B) The Tourism Commission (TC) will invite the HKDC to host a thematic creative tourism activity using fashion parade as the core theme in Sham Shui Po in end 2018. Local designers will be invited to participate in this creative tourism activity to drive the development of the fashion industry in Sham Shui Po district and foster a creative atmosphere within the community, thereby bringing benefits to both creative industries and the tourism sector.
(C) The Government plans to launch a tourism project blending the heritage and cultural elements of Sham Shui Po district with multimedia technology in 2019. The TC will collaborate with historians to select local heritage attractions (e.g. Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb and Mei Ho House, etc.) and will showcase the historical images of these attractions to visitors using smartphone applications. This will allow visitors to savour the historical and cultural ambience of Sham Shui Po and enrich their travel experience.
The Government will brief the Sham Shui Po District Council about details of the proposal on January 16.
Ends/Tuesday, January 9, 2018