The iconic Fort Cornwallis is slowly returning to its old glory days as another important feature of the historical fort is being revived.
The defensive moat is becoming a reality with the on-going rejuvenation project. For the knowledge of the uninitiated, a moat is a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town filled with water and intended as a defence against attack
Present at the unveiling of the moat was Penang Chief Minister YAB Chow Kon Yeow along with State Exco for Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning YB Jagdeep Singh Deo, State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy YB Yeoh Soon Hin, State secretary Dato Mohd Sayuthi Bakar, State Financial Officer Zabidah Safar, Penang Island mayor Dato Yew Tung Seang, chairman of Think City Sdn Bhd, Dato Seri Dr Anwar Fazal among others.
“Fort Cornwallis is one of the main projects in the “North Seafront Master Plan” in our UNESCO George Town status initiatives.
“It is modelled in a “public-private partnership” (PPP) with George Town Conservation and Development Corporation Sdn Bhd which is an agency of Think City.
“From 2019 till 2021, several components of Fort Cornwallis have been developed with a cost of RM4.6 million,” said Chow.
The original moat varied in width between 9 and 20 meters and surrounded the entire perimeter of the fort. It was built in 1804 by the East India Company to respond to enemy threats during the Napoleonic Wars.
The moat was eventually filled in 1021, in part because of public health concerns following an outbreak of malaria.
To date, all ten of the store rooms facing the fort’s interior court have been restored.
The reinstatement of the Southern and Western moats will be completed in 2025.
Once completed, the total value of the Fort Cornwallis investment will be approximately RM30 million contributed by the Penang State Government, Think City and Yayasan Hasanah.
The project is part and parcel of the wider North Seafront Improvement programme, it covers some 14 projects at a total cost of RM140 million funded by the State of Penang, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang, Think City and Yayasan Hasanah.