Costs cause funding review for West Kowloon Cultural District

Costs cause funding review for West Kowloon Cultural District

Land development rights at the West Kowloon Cultural District could be handed over to the body in charge of the hub in order to ensure it has sufficient funds for construction work.

Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee revealed the government is considering a new financing plan, after the first two phases of the project cost HK$17 billion of its HK$21.6 billion budget.

“One of the plans is, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority could obtain part of or the whole development rights,” Fung said yesterday.

She was speaking at a Legislative Council joint subcommittee meeting to monitor the implementation of the project.

Fung stressed this should ensure the government does not incur losses from the plan. If the authority has the development rights, it could cooperate with different developers and generate profits.

Legislators were told construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has not affected the current progress at the West Kowloon hub.

Ma Fung-kwok, legislator for the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector, said the government could convert the HK$21.3 billion budget to loans and the authority could pay it back with interest.

Meanwhile, a government-appointed consultant suggested marine transport facilities should be developed at West Kowloon.

Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Chan Yuen-han said a pier should be built at the site, and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Ip Kwok-him suggested the introduction of marine taxis.

 

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