The government yesterday launched Create Hong Kong, a one-stop service it hopes will nurture the creative industries. The office will fund projects such as overseas exhibitions, turning heritage sites over to creative uses and fostering small firms. Among its first tasks will be the approval of projects that subsidise internship programmes and funding of rent for small start-ups. Alan Siu Yu-bun, the deputy secretary for Commerce and Economic Development who will temporarily head the office, said: 'Instead of asking various departments for support, the creative industries, such as the advertising and architectural sectors, will enjoy the one-stop service offered by the office.' An independent vetting committee of about 50 people drawn from various professions and academia will be established within two months to approve project funding. The Legislative Council allocated HK$300 million to the office last month. There is no funding ceiling for individual projects, but those above HK$10 million will require the approval of lawmakers. Projects that are already covered by existing funds for film and design are not eligible. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau had already launched a pilot scheme, subsiding about 100 interns in the advertising industry, with each receiving HK$4,000 a month. 'This is only a subsidy. The advertising companies would have to pay the remaining salary,' Mr Siu said. A search for a permanent head of the office began yesterday. Mr Siu said the government was looking for someone with at least 12 years' experience at a senior level with a large public or private organisation. But he did not rule out the possibility of hiring a civil servant. 'Civil servants are allowed to participate in the recruitment exercise and to compete with the candidates,' he said. The candidate will receive a monthly salary not exceeding HK$151,200. The vice-president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Wong Kam-sing, said he hoped the office would demonstrate the talents of local designers to markets on the mainland and elsewhere in Asia. 'We have the expertise in building skyscrapers, and mixed-use and railway-based developments, which need to be marketed,' he said. He said the Australian and British governments worked to promote their architects overseas. Tanya Chan, a Civic Party lawmaker, said she hoped the office would identify industrial areas that were suitable to turn into clusters for artists and designers.