Dear Dr Pearse,
We refer to your enquiry dated 1 August 2016 requesting information related to the Signature Project in Mui Wo .
The Chief Executive announced in his 2013 Policy Address that a one-off provision of $100 million would be earmarked for each district to initiate project(s) under the Signature Project Scheme (SPS). The project(s) should address local needs or highlight the characteristics of the district, and have a visible and lasting impact in the community. The Islands District Council (IsDC) has decided to implement two projects under the SPS, i.e.
Mui Wo used to be a major tourist destination on Lantau Island and a transportation hub for visitors to other parts of Lantau Island. Since the development of Tung Chung, the Ngong Ping 360 cable car system and the new Tung Chung Road, the number of visitors going to Mui Wo has significantly declined. The local community in Mui Wo is keen to rejuvenate Mui Wo as a leisure rural township.
In this regard, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) is implementing the “Improvement Works at Mui Wo” project by phases in the town centre area of Mui Wo, particularly in the area from the ferry pier leading to the Silvermine Bay (SMB) Beach. Phase 1 of the improvement works has already started in July 2014 with a target completion date in end-2016.
Among the various scenic spots in Mui Wo, the SMB Beach is the most well-known tourist attraction. Since the SMB Beach has become a gazetted beach in the 1960s, small-scale improvement or repair works have been carried out for the beach facilities. However, the overall design and the facilities are dated and aged. More importantly, the existing facilities on the beach are inadequate to serve the large number of visitors during the swimming seasons and major annual events such as the Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race and the SMB Music Festival.
Riding on CEDD’s “Improvement Works at Mui Wo” project which will enhance the environment and attractiveness of Mui Wo town centre, IsDC has decided to implement the SMB Project as one of the SPS projects of Islands District, with a view to rejuvenating the SMB Beach and achieving synergy with CEDD’s project in boosting the number of visitors to Mui Wo.
After formal endorsement at the IsDC meeting in April 2013, a public forum was held in October 2013 to introduce the background and the scope of the SMB Project which received very positive feedback. In addition, a public briefing was held in November 2014 to brief the local community on the proposed layout and architectural designs of the project. Apart from indicating their support, attendees of the two public consultation activities urged for early implementation of the project. IsDC endorsed the layout and architectural designs for the project in December 2014.
The proposed scope of works under the SMB Project includes –
A site plan, floor plans and artist’s impression of the SMB Project are attached as Annexes 1 to 3 respectively.
The SMB Project will adopt a modern design for the beach facilities and buildings as well as the viewing deck, fostering the relaxing atmosphere of holiday resorts. After completion of the SMB Project, the facilities on the beach, such as changing rooms, toilet cubicles and BBQ pits, will be significantly enhanced. The proposed viewing deck near the seashore at the entrance to the beach will provide an excellent place for visitors to enjoy the scenery of the SMB and to watch the annual major event – Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race.
The proposed works are expected to commence in late 2016 for completion in 2018.
Here is a link to the Site Plan, Floor plans and artisit’s impression of the SMB Project