Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew inspected the work underway at the site, in the old government quarter on the north side of Phuket Town, yesterday (Jan 24).
Present during Governor Narong’s visit were Suvit Phansaengiam, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, along with representatives from private contractors carrying out the work.
The renovations are 85% complete and the renovations are expected to be finished next month, Governor Narong said.
“There has been a lot of progress in the renovation of the house structure and the fittings. Now [they are] in the process of adjusting the surrounding landscape to make it beautiful,” he said.
“This place will be one of Phuket’s landmarks that can be visited and photographed by tourists,” he noted.
However, he added, “In terms of whether to take advantage of the site in any respect, it must be considered again by listening to the opinions of the public before proceeding in any direction due to the need for maintenance.”
Governor Narong was clear that the historic building will not be made available for rent. “But it may be used for weddings and events,” he said.
Plans to renovate the century-old mansion known as the Standard Chartered Bank House were first drawn up in 2018.
Under the initial renovation plans, the building was to be used for three specific purposes: 1) To function as a place to welcome important visitors; 2) To become a historical tourism destination; and 3) To provide a place for tourists to enjoy and relax.
Standard Chartered Bank was the first foreign bank permitted to operate in Phuket. The Phuket branch opened in the now historic Sino-Portuguese building on Phuket Rd in the heart of the Phuket Old Town area in the early 1900s. Since 2012 the main building has been home to the Phuket Peranakan Museum (officially called the “Chalermraj Center”).
A separate house was built on Damrong Rd for the manager, which so far has not been put to any official or community use.