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GEORGE TOWN: Work will begin early next year on several components of the Gurney Wharf project, touted as the state’s first reclaimed waterfront.

Among the components are a promenade, a park, a skating rink, a children’s playground and a man-made beach.

State Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state was in negotiations with relevant parties to finalise some of the agreements.

“We have already been given about 12.4ha of reclaimed land from the developer for work to begin in the southern site, near Jalan Pangkor.

“It will be carried out in stages.

“Finally, we can see this materialising. This will be a real game-changer for Penang in the near future,” he said today.

Reclamation work for the Gurney Wharf project was completed recently by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O).

Of the 52.2ha to be surrendered to the state government, about 24ha will be for various public amenities benefitting the people of Penang.

However, the state government has agreed to reclaim another two water bodies at the site, about 5.8ha, which will also be surrendered to the state government.

Physical work is expected to begin next June and will take about a year to complete.

Gurney Wharf, a new seafront public park, is a state government initiative, with its conceptual master plan by Grant Associates, an internationally-renowned consultant architect firm.

Grant Associates has been involved in various international projects including in the United Kingdom, such as the The Hive, Bristol Harbour Site and Cambridge Accordia, and also Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.

Jagdeep said Tanjung Pinang Development is expected to surrender the remaining reclaimed land by next year.

“In the subsequent phases, there will also be a wetland, food and beverage outlets, retail outlets and a water taxi pier, all lining the 24ha site,” he said.

He also revealed that about 95 per cent of the public were in favour of the Gurney Wharf project while about four per cent had additional inputs. Only one per cent was against the project.

Meanwhile, speaking on a separate matter, Jagdeep said the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT), during a meeting with state officials yesterday in Putrajaya, had committed to consider approving Penang’s request for funds for 44 critical projects amounting to RM35 million.

Penang had recently requested for RM28.76 million from the Housing Maintenance Programme (PPP) fund and RM72.13 million from the Malaysia Home Maintenance Fund (TPPM) fund for next year.

“There was a commitment from the Federal Government for our requests in yesterday’s meeting.

“I believe Penang will be given one of the highest funding now that the federal and state governments are one and the same.

“If given (the funding), this will be the best New Year gift for the state,” he added.

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