The Penang government, through George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), is allocating RM1mil to launch the ‘George Town in the New Normal’ project.
It is to regenerate and assist in the transition of Penang’s cultural heritage sector to the new normal.
The project has three components, namely supporting local business, heritage repair and heritage video.
Through these project components, it will benefit 3,000 local businesses within the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site, 5,000 local businesses that are part of the Unesco site’s cultural and financial ecosystem, 267 heritage building owners or tenants within the Unesco site and 267 cultural heritage practitioners in Penang.
GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said cultural heritage contains wisdom and resources passed down from our ancestors and will provide tremendous capital strength for many to stay strong and hopeful in embracing a bright, new normal.
“In support of the local business component, GTWHI will assist local businesses in digital marketing promotion.
“Priority is given to long-term businesses that have been operating for more than 10 years.
“About 3,000 local businesses within George Town Unesco World Heritage Site and 5,000 local businesses that are part of the World Heritage Site cultural and financial ecosystem can participate in this project.
“We hope to assist local businesses to reach new customers on the digital platform, ” she said in a statement.
For the heritage repair component, Ang said a one-off financial reimbursement of a maximum of RM1,500 will be provided to qualified owners or tenants of heritage premises for minor repair and maintenance works.
They must be Category I and Category II premises as gazetted in the George Town Special Area Plan within George Town World Heritage Site.
“To qualify for the RM1,500 Heritage Fund, the repairs must first be approved by the Penang Island City Council.
“This includes upgrading of electricity wiring, repainting of interior and exterior walls, vegetation removal from the facade, termites treatment or other works that are in accordance with the rules and regulations in the George Town Special Area Plan.
“All applicants must register for this project before work commences.
“We hope that these minor repairs will elevate the mood of heritage building users in facing the new normal, ” she added.
As for the heritage video component, Ang said cultural heritage practitioners based in Penang who depend on their skills, knowledge or services as the main source of income may apply for this project.
“Priority is given to those who have yet to develop their digital marketing strategy. Each applicant must propose a five to 20-minute video to share their skills, knowledge or craft process.
“GTWHI will assist shortlisted applicants on video-taking technical skills and digital sharing platforms.
“The video and business information submitted will be promoted on GTWHI’s website and social media channels.
“Successful applicants will receive an incentive of RM1,500.
“We hope to empower cultural heritage practitioners to expand their market in the digital world, ” she said.
Applicants who are qualified and interested can call the GTWHI hotline at 04-2616606 from 10am to 4pm on weekdays for registration.
GTWHI staff members who can speak vernacular languages will help applicants in completing the application form.
Alternatively, qualified and interested applicants can register online.
The first phase of applications opens today and closes on Aug 31.
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