Bukit Gombak, Tampines West town centres to be revamped, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Bukit Gombak, Tampines West town centres to be revamped

Projects to revitalise Bukit Gombak and Tampines West will be introduced as part of efforts to help heartland enterprises innovate and seize new opportunities. 

A new Heartland Enterprise Placemaking Grant will also be launched to encourage heartland merchants to host placemaking activities, such as community engagement events and thematic festivals, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling on March 1.

This comes amid the rapid evolution of the retail industry led by the growth of technology, e-commerce and fast-changing consumer preferences, said Ms Low during the debate on her ministry’s budget.

She added that the Government is committed to supporting Singapore’s retail sector as well as businesses in the heartlands. 

Under the pilot rejuvenation projects, Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre will be transformed into a Modern Heritage Heartland Hub while Tampines West Neighbourhood Centre will be revamped into a Heartlands Events Hub, said Ms Low.

She was responding to MPs Shawn Huang (Jurong GRC), Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) and Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) who had asked for updates on the Our Heartlands 2025 Programme, which was introduced in 2022.

One of the first activities organised by the Modern Heritage Heartland Hub will be the “Rasa Gombak Day Out”, a first-of-its-kind festival from April 5 to April 7 that showcases the history and heritage of the popular neighbourhood centre.

Meanwhile, the placemaking grant will cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for selected activities organised by heartland merchants, with a maximum of $10,000 per project being defrayed.

Supportable areas include third-party consultancy, equipment, software, marketing, and professional services like event management and audit. 

Operational costs and commonly found placemaking activities like festive light-ups, bazaars, and traditional night markets are not supported. 

Eligible merchants must be registered or incorporated in Singapore, have a minimum of 30 per cent local shareholding, and have a group annual turnover of not more than $100 million or group employment of not more than 200 employees. They must also have a physical storefront operating in the heartlands.

Ms Low also noted that the Government has ramped up its efforts to transform and revitalise the heartlands in the last three years. 

For example, it supported the Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore and Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore to hold more than 60 placemaking activities, including three successful Heartlands Festivals. 

“Through these campaigns, businesses have reported a one-third increase in footfall and a 20 per cent rise in sales,” she said. 

“Collectively, these initiatives strengthen each precinct’s identity and allow businesses to differentiate their products and enhance their value proposition.”