GEORGE TOWN, Nov 20 — The Penang government plans to implement many of its heritage-based initiatives through George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) after it received RM25 million funding from the federal government.
Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said they had received the allocation and it will be used to implement programmes for the preservation and management of the Unesco world heritage site.
“We have a long list of projects that exceeded the RM25 million so we will be prioritising those projects,” he said in a press conference after attending the UN-Habitat Special Citation award ceremony here.
He said GTWHI will implement these projects over a two- to three-year period.
It was announced a few months ago that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has allocated a total RM55 milion to Penang and Melaka to preserve and manage the Unesco world heritage sites.
The funding was approved under Budget 2023 in which both states will get RM25 million each and Melaka received an additional RM5 million for its Visit Melaka 2024 campaign.
Chow said among the projects the state planned to roll out included a special grant to encourage heritage building owners to restore their buildings and initiatives to encourage inner city residents to continue living in the city.
“We have many heritage initiatives and awareness programmes to be implemented through GTWHI,” he said.
He said the federal government had previously allocated funding of RM20 million for the preservation and management of the Unesco site back in 2008 but it was channelled through Think City.
He said Think City had successfully implemented programmes such as the George Town Transformation Programme which distributed grants to communities to revitalise the city.
“This time around, the funds is given directly to us, so GTWHI has been given the responsibility to utilise the funds to manage the Unesco site,” he said.