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Projects on recreational and cultural facilities will create jobs

The following was issued by the Home Affairs Bureau:

     The Public Works Subcommittee (PWSC) of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee today (January 7) supported in principle proposals to upgrade to Category A three projects on recreational and cultural facilities. These projects, namely improvement works for Mong Kok Stadium, construction of a public library and indoor recreation centre in Yuen Long, and development of a swimming pool complex in Tuen Mun, with a total estimated cost of about $2 billion, will provide better recreational and cultural facilities to the public, as well as create over 1,000 jobs, including over 900 for labourers and over 100 for professional/technical staff.

     Fund allocation applications of the three projects will be later submitted to the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee for consideration. Once approved, work on the projects will start this year and they are expected to be completed in 2011-2012.

     A spokesman for the Home Affairs Bureau said that the Mong Kok Stadium had been a major base for staging high level football matches and other events for over 48 years. Most of the facilities, however, no longer meet present-day service requirements. The improvement project will help to attract more spectators to football matches and sustain the community’s interest and participation in football, as well as meet the training needs of local athletes. The administration will, taking into account the views of the PWSC, consider further upgrading the stadium's facilities.

     The proposed project in Yuen Long will provide a full range of library and sports centre services and facilities in the district. The project will meet the recreational and cultural needs of local residents with better use of resources.

     The only public heated pool in Tuen Mun is at the Tuen Mun Swimming Pool, which is outdoors. The proposed swimming pool complex in Tuen Mun includes indoor heated swimming facilities. They will provide all-weather facilities for local residents to enjoy the fun of swimming, which helps promote “sports for all” in the community.

     The spokesman also said that the above-mentioned projects together with the redevelopment of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (costing $1.8 billion) are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs.

Ends/Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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