The Iec Long Firecracker Factory in Taipa, one of Macao’s foremost industrial heritage sites, will partially open to the public later this year as a park with leisure activities, taking the local firework industry as its theme.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) said that a square outside a new main entrance to Iec Long – next to Chun Su Mei – will be set up, and restoration of the three buildings located on the square will be prioritised. The three buildings will be used for hosting exhibitions and workshops as well as for setting up a gift shop, café and tourism information centre. Initially the site will primarily consist of a walkway around the area.
The bureau is also discussing setting up a mini family outdoor camp to provide activities for children such as tree houses, climbing nets and ropes.
For Iec Long’s long-term planning, the bureau has entrusted a consultancy to examine the site’s environment to put forward a protection proposal, which will be used as reference for the site’s restoration, revitalisation or new function plans in the future.
Iec Long covers more than 20,000 square metres, and was handed over to the bureau in December 2020. The bureau said that the site has been left vacant for many years which is the reason for its “complicated” situation, adding a series of preliminary works shortly were carried out such as building inspection, removing rubbish, cutting the grass and treating wastewater.
Choi Kin Long, head of the IC Cultural Heritage Department, said that the construction project’s first phase would start in June or July, aiming to complete the project and open the site to the public by the end of this year. Choi said that the budget could not be disclosed.
Choi pointed out that the bureau has entrusted a consultancy to examine the site’s environment such as its ecology, water resources, soil, trees, and plants. Choi added that the bureau would plan and restore the site according to the consultancy’s examination report, phase by phase.
Choi said that there are two old trees on the site, a 100-year-old Ficus rumphii (Mock Bodh tree) and a 260-year-old Cinnamomum camphora (camphor tree). Choi pointed out that the camphor tree is older than the establishment of Iec Long.
Choi stressed that due to safety reasons, the new walkway area will cover about 500 metres, which is a fifth of the whole site. Asked about ensuring the public’s safety on the walkway and preventing them from walking into dangerous areas, Choi replied that the bureau would set up steel barriers and barbed wire around the walkway.
Choi said that about 2,000 square metres of the site which were once used as offices, employee residences and warehouses have not been repossessed by the government yet.
Iec Long Firecracker Factory, located in Rua de Fernão Mendes Pinto, was established in 1926 and closed for good in 1984. Iec Long means “beneficial prosperity”. In Portuguese, it was known as “Fábrica de Panchões Iec Long”, The Macau Post Daily reported.