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Mr Cheung, Mr Chan and Law officiating at the launch ceremony of “Double Rewards @ Graham Street Market”.
Mr Cheung, Mr Chan and Law officiating at the launch ceremony of “Double Rewards @ Graham Street Market”.

Promotional scheme for Graham Street Market commenced

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Monday) kicked off a six-week shoppers' reward scheme for patrons of the century-old Graham Street Market to enhance vibrancy of the area.  Over 60 hawker stalls and shops have joined the scheme, which is entitled the "Double Rewards @ Graham Street Market".

It is the first and one of the many initiatives of the URA to enhance vibrancy of the market alongside the implementation of the Peel Street/Graham Street project.
 
Together with the Chairman of the Central & Western District Council, Mr Chan Tak-chor, the Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, and the Managing Director of the URA, Mr Quinn Law, officiated at the ceremony this afternoon.

The six-week reward scheme will last until 31 January 2011.  Patrons making a purchase at any one of the participating stalls and shops of the market are eligible to take part in the "Double Rewards" which includes an instant lucky draw and gift redemption. Publicity has been made via on-street distribution and direct mailing of leaflets and the "Face book".

A booth has been set up at Gage Street to provide services for shoppers. It is open seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm, including public holidays during the promotional period.

At a media lunch meeting earlier this afternoon, Mr Cheung said: "The century-old Graham Street Market is a place of Hong Kong with significant characters.  Although the Graham Street Market is outside the boundary of the URA Peel Street/Graham Street project announced in 2007, we have undertaken to retain its characters as well as enhance its vibrancy during our project implementation period."

"As a result of natural gentrification already taking place in the vicinity, open market activities are shrinking and many hawker stalls are disappearing.  The URA considers that the implementation of its Peel Street/Graham Street project will help save the market from further shrinking while enhancing local district characters and incorporating in its plan Government Institutional  Community facilities and other designs," said Mr Cheung.

He pointed out that redevelopment, preservation and revitalisation could co-exist and go hand in hand with a detailed plan for implementation. To achieve this end, the URA set up a conservation advisory panel comprising local District Council members and representatives of the community and hawkers, historians and experts to advise on heritage and hawker related issues.  Professional consultants have also been engaged to work out a comprehensive plan of tactical measures for implementation.

Mr Cheung then outlined the tactical measures for phased development, noting that the current promotional activity is one of the many initiatives taken.

The Peel Street/Graham Street project, consisting of three sites-- A, B and C, will be implemented in phases to minimise inconvenience to the operators and users.   Mr Cheung said: "The phased development will call for safety hoardings and decorative protection to be erected only on either side of the streets at any one time so as to allow them to continue their businesses."

The Government has recently (10 December) announced the resumption of land site (Site B) for the implementation of the phase one development, where the URA plans to build inter-alia a two-storey retail shop building easily accessible from all directions, which is intended to accommodate wet provision shops  choosing to return for businesses upon its completion.

Meanwhile, arrangements have been made for 14 market-related wet provision shops at Site B temporarily moved to premises at Sites A & C acquired by the URA, to continue their business operations.

In addition, operators of five street stalls who are affected by the project and within the site boundary have been given assistance to renovate and re-construct their stalls in-situ so that their business operations would not be affected during the construction stage.

For street stalls outside the site boundary, the URA has taken the initiative to help improve the safety of their business environment by installing individual electric metre boxes for the operators.  The URA will also reserve storage space totalling 300 square metres in future development for hawker stall operators who need to rent additional space for storing their goods.

Mr Cheung said: "To improve traffic flow in the area and reduce inconvenience to hawkers, future buildings planned for the project will be set back."

"While the proposed phased development would result in a longer construction period and additional cost, we have considered it worthwhile to undertake these measures in view of the interests of the local community," Mr Cheung added.

(ENDS)