Singapore Budget 2015: Nation-wide heritage survey among slew of heritage initiatives to be rolled out

SINGAPORE - A nation-wide heritage survey of the Republic's tangible and intangible heritage will soon be rolled out.

The aim is to get a more complete understanding of historical sites and their value across the island, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Thursday.

The survey will take into account factors such as the age of buildings, the places where significant historical events took place, and the architectural, social and cultural value of certain landmarks to the community.

This study will be led by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

A heritage research grant will be launched to provide funding to encourage members of institutions of higher learning such as academics and non-governmental organisations, to plug gaps in heritage research and delve into new areas within the field.

Their findings will be incorporated into the heritage survey.

A heritage advisory panel comprising members from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other experts across disciplines will also be formed.

These experts will contribute to the survey and advise on best practices including those used in other countries, said Mr Wong.

The NHB, using findings from the survey, will work with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to "enhance heritage considerations" at each stage of the land planning process including the 10-year Concept Plan or the five-year Master Plan, said Mr Wong.

Mr Wong also announced that the ministry will more than double its National Monuments Fund from $5 million to $12 million over the next five years.

The fund will include a new maintenance component which non-profit monument owners can apply for to alleviate some costs of upkeep and to prevent deterioration, said Mr Wong.

The funding cap per applicant has also been raised from $1 million to $1.5 million to better cope with rising restoration costs.