Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is expected to announce steps in his policy address to speed up the reuse of old industrial buildings in districts like Kwai Chung and Tsuen Wan to boost the development of creative industries. It is one of the measures being considered to develop the arts into one of the six new economic 'pillars' to diversify the city's economy. A government official said that in his October 14 address the chief executive was likely to unveil a series of measures to help convert more rundown or underused industrial buildings to affordable working space for artists. 'Underutilised industrial buildings in districts such as Kwai Chung and Tsuen Wan are possible sites for conversions,' the official said. Another official said the measures would apply to both government and privately owned factories. The Housing Authority manages eight government factory estates in Kwai Chung, Kowloon Bay, Cheung Sha Wan, Chai Wan, Tuen Mun and Fo Tan, providing a total of 9,300 units. The Development Bureau is studying possible incentives to encourage the conversion and redevelopment of the buildings, including lowering the land premium. It might also lower the threshold at which the sale of a building can be forced, from 90 per cent ownership to 80 per cent. A nine-storey industrial building in Shek Kip Mei was transformed into the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre last September to provide affordable working space for the city's artists. The project, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, was supported by the Baptist University and the club. The Planning Department is conducting a survey to look at the vacancy rate and possible uses of industrial buildings. The survey, which is scheduled to be completed in October, covers more than 80,000 units in various districts. A senior town planner said some projects, such as those setting up design centres and multimedia studios, were already allowed in existing industrial buildings in Tsuen Wan East and Chai Wan Kok without the need to gain Town Planning Board approval. The planner said the study's preliminary findings showed that some industrial buildings were still in use and converting them would take effort and care. 'For example, industrial operations might pose fire risks to artists and other occupants if they are all in the same building. Sudden change of land use will also bring extra traffic to the district,' the planner said. The other five pillars identified by the government-appointed Task Force on Economic Challenges are education, medical services, environmental industry, innovation and technology, as well as food safety and product testing.