NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE HERITAGE SECTOR IN 2015
At the Committee of Supply 2015 debate, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) announced two new sums of funding to boost Singapore’s heritage preservation and commemoration efforts: $12M for a second tranche of NHB’s National Monuments Fund to safeguard our built heritage, and more funding dedicated to heritage commemoration, assessment and research.
Top-up to the National Monuments Fund with new usage for maintenance
The National Monuments Fund (NMF) will provide a second round of funding of $12 million over the next five years to continue support for our 31 qualifying religious and non-profit National Monuments in their restoration efforts. To encourage responsible ownership of the National Monuments, this second tranche of NMF will continue to be disbursed through a co-funding scheme. The funding cap per application will be raised to $1.5 million to help our National Monuments better cope with the rising restoration costs. The guidelines for NMF’s usage will also be expanded for the first time to cover maintenance and preventive measures, which will help arrest deterioration and aging problems of the National Monuments early and alleviate restoration costs in the long run.
This new provision, coupled with regular site inspections conducted by NHB’s Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, will further bolster support for the upkeep of our National Monuments.
More funding for heritage assessment and commemoration
More funding will be dedicated to developing Singapore’s capabilities and knowledge base in the areas of heritage research, documentation and commemoration in order to achieve a healthy balance between national development and heritage preservation.
The funding will fund two main areas:
A nation-wide heritage survey of Singapore’s heritage
The nation-wide heritage survey aims to systematically and comprehensively map out Singapore’s landscape of tangible (historic sites and structures) and intangible (traditions and cultures) heritage. Research and documentation projects will concurrently be carried out, and their findings added on to information gleaned from the survey.
A new heritage research grant
The heritage research grant, a new NHB initiative, will provide funding to encourage institutes of higher learning, think tanks, and academics to contribute to the wealth of heritage information and resources through their study and research. Twice a year, NHB will invite Institutes of Higher Learning and Non-Governmental Organisations to submit research proposals. Their contributions will help plug existing gaps in heritage research, and provide insights into other new areas.
To support these new initiatives, NHB will be inviting experts of different disciplines from academia, heritage NGOs and heritage practitioners to form a Heritage Advisory Panel that will advise us on best practices in documentation and commemoration, and guide us in the upcoming heritage surveys and research.
Together, these initiatives will help realise a ready knowledge pool of heritage resources, which can be tapped on to guide decisions and processes in planning and development, as well as raise overall awareness and understanding of both our tangible and intangible heritage. They will also serve as yet another platform for more partnerships between the government, communities, academics and researchers to synergise their heritage assessment and commemoration efforts.