Local artists have complained that the government did not ask for their views on the new revitalisation policy. In response, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) asked artists for their opinions.
The ADC, which was set up by the government to support the development of the arts in Hong Kong, received 803 responses.
The ADC observed that the revitalisation policy has sparked an increase in the sale of industrial property.
There were 291 extra sales of private flats in industrial buildings in October last year when compared to the same month in 2009. Also, in the same month, there were 96 more sales of private offices in factories than in October 2009.
Since the policy was launched, the rate of increase in the sale of flats in industrial buildings has been 300 per cent higher than those of offices in industrial buildings.
The survey showed that most of the artists renting space in industrial buildings are young, with 65 per cent aged between 20 and 39.
For individual artists, the cost of renting industrial space was close to 25 per cent of their total income, and the maximum monthly rent they could afford was HK$4,072.
The survey showed these young artists have only limited abilities to deal with rising rents, and if they did not have the industrial space, they would not be able to pursue their artistic careers.
The ADC recommended that the government should 'pay due diligence to [the artists'] need for creation and production space' and 'offer suitable assistance to nurture industry development'.
In particular, the ADC urged the government to change town planning regulations by including artistic activities such as creation, production and rehearsal in the definition of 'industrial use'.
The ADC also said the government should consider renovating vacant premises to turn them into creative centres or arts villages.
Betty Mak Piu-tai, ADC's senior manager for planning and development, said the government had not responded to the report, but added that a response had not been requested.
She said that while the ADC has no land or venues to offer to artists, some landlords have offered to help out by renting affordable space.
Mak said more discussions were needed regarding usage and the exact amount of space available.
'The government is open-minded about the proposal of developing creative centres or artist villages, the Development Bureau told Young Post.
Horace Tse Kin-man, the artists' representative in San Po Kong industrial buildings and a member of the Factory Artists Concern Group, said it was good there were landlords offering affordable space.
However, he said there were still many unknown factors.
Tse said: 'We just want the government departments to work together. Right now, each department does its own thing and avoids stepping on each other's territory. There is no-one leading or looking at the big picture.'
Ada Wong Ying-kay, chief executive of the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture, has been talking to artists about the situation.
She said: 'What I find most disturbing is that the government doesn't have a central policy group which would lead various departments to tackle the problem.
'The government has been talking about developing Hong Kong into a cultural hub but it has ignored the most fundamental need. What we need is creative space, not performance space. We need to give artists space to create a vibrant ecology. Without such ecology, there will be no development of the creative industry.'