St. James’ Settlement (SJS) and the Swire Group Charitable Trust (Swire Trust) are joining hands to create a vibrant community space in Quarry Bay. St. James’ Settlement received a HKD15 million sponsorship from the Swire Trust to develop and operate a new community space on the Quarry Bay harbourfront, which is expected to open by the end of 2022. The sponsorship is one of the major projects under the Swire Trust’s initiative TrustTomorrow, which is designed to drive lasting and positive change within the Hong Kong community.
The project has already received support from the Development Bureau’s “Funding Scheme to Support the Use of Vacant Government Sites by Non-government Organisations”, which has approved a HKD60 million grant for the construction of the project.
The three-year sponsorship from the Swire Trust will subsidise the operation of the community space, which will be transformed from a vacant land plot spanning 3,740 sqm near Hoi Tai Street in Quarry Bay, into a vibrant leisure space for community initiatives and the general public to enjoy. Apart from the Swire Trust, Swire Properties, as the Supporting Partner of the project, will provide consultancy support for the design, construction and operation of the community space. Collaborate Hong Kong, a not-for-profit advisory and collaboration platform, will also provide professional advice on community-led placemaking initiatives for the new space.
The project is officially named “Quarryside” (舍區), which reflects its identity as a shared space in the Quarry Bay area, having been created for the community within. To celebrate the project’s commencement, representatives from the Development Bureau, the Harbourfront Commission, St. James’ Settlement, the Swire Trust and Swire Properties gathered together to break ground at the site today.
“We strive for a better society through empowering community members to share their values and contribute their talents in the community. This project will deliver a community-led and participatory model to foster social interaction and enhance community relations. We are thankful to have great support from the Development Bureau, the Swire Trust, Swire Properties and Collaborate Hong Kong. Without their staunch support, we could not launch this community space project,” said Brian Li, Vice-chairman of St. James’ Settlement’s Executive Board.
“The Government is committed to promoting harbourfront development. All along, we have been working with the Harbourfront Commission to unleash more harbourfront area for public enjoyment through ‘Incremental Approach’. The ‘Quarryside’ project is a successful example of concerted efforts amongst NGOs, the private sector and the Government. I thank the St. James’ Settlement, Swire Group Charitable Trust and various departments for their contribution, and wish the project swift completion, thereby benefitting the community,” said Michael Wong, Secretary for Development.
“We are pleased to support this purposeful project by SJS, which fully aligns with the goal of the TrustTomorrow initiative to motivate positive change and bring hope through the fostering of a thriving community. We particularly applaud SJS’s plan to partner with other NGOs and open the venue for community initiatives, which will help strengthen social connections and bring long-term benefits to the wider community,” said Patrick Healy, Chairman of the Swire Group Philanthropy Council.
“Quarry Bay is our home, and we are committed to transforming the district into a vibrant hub for business and living,” said Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties. “The creation of this wonderful new harbourfront community space will further transform and improve the district. We are delighted to contribute our expertise to designing and building this new space. We look forward to seeing it through to completion, and to supporting our partners as they inject new energy into the district through community initiatives and events.”
“Connecting the entire Victoria Harbourfront has always been our mission, and hence we seize every opportunity to bring about new harbourfront experiences to different regions locally. Thanks to the funding scheme of the Development Bureau, St. James’ Settlement and the Swire Group Charitable Trust had been able to make good use of this site promptly and precisely by implementing the "Quarryside" of the Project Harbour. This project provides opportunities for the public to interact and relax in the harbourfront and renders a venue for the arrangement of cultural, art and festive activities,” said Vincent Ng, Chairman of Harbourfront Commission.
Upon completion by the end of 2022, the site will be regenerated into a venue comprising a pavilion and an open lawn for the community’s enjoyment, part of which will be open to the public 24 hours. The open lawn and multipurpose rooms at the pavilion will be available to host a series of regular programmes and one-off, signature events. All of these events will be specially curated with the aim of encouraging arts and cultural development, fostering sustainability ideas, and stimulating creativity amongst the Island East community, whilst paying tribute to the district’s rich history and heritage.
Quarryside’s multipurpose rooms and venues will also be open for local and non-profit organisations to use upon application, while pet lovers will have a new spot to enjoy with their furry friends at pet-friendly facilities within the space.
Programmes will be organised in various formats and themes, ranging from exercise classes to promote health and wellness, to traditional handicraft workshops and exhibitions which encourage community exchange, design-based workshops, and large-scale events such as themed bazaars and upcycling festivals to engage the community at large.