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July
Businesses briefed on Private Sector Finance Scheme

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Twenty-two companies attended a briefing today (July 16) on the first two projects of the Government's Private Sector Finance Scheme in Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O.

The Government has invited private investors to submit Expressions of Interest for an ice sports centre and town park in Tseung Kwan O; and a leisure and cultural centre in Kwun Tong.

A spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which held the briefing, said the response from investors was encouraging.

During the briefing, the Acting Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Paul Cheung, outlined details of the two projects.

The pilot projects are in line with the principle of "Big Market, Small Government" mentioned in the Chief Executive's Policy Address, the spokesman said.

"They not only allow more efficient use of Government resources, but also expedite the delivery of facilities for public use," he added.

Under the Private Sector Finance Scheme, private investors are required to design, build and manage leisure and cultural facilities on a self-financing basis for use by the public.

To ensure the commercial viability of the projects, investors can propose facilities such as shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, as long as they are permissible under the relevant Outline Zoning Plans.

"Income from the commercial facilities can be used to subsidise the cost of building and operating the required leisure and cultural facilities," the spokesman said.

Details of the two projects were gazetted on July 11. Interested companies are invited to make development proposals on or before August 15.

"Upon receiving the Expressions of Interest, we will formulate a development brief on the preferred mix of facilities and uses of the two sites and seek the endorsement of the Town Planning Board," the spokesman said.

The Tseung Kwan O project, located on a 6.8-hectare plot in Area 45, will include an ice-skating rink (61m x 30m) with spectator stands suitable for international ice sports competitions. There will also be an ancillary ice rink of a similar size, a town park and other related facilities.

The Kwun Tong leisure and cultural centre will be located on a 2.27-hectare plot at the junction of Tsui Ping Road and Lei Yue Mun Road. It will accommodate a bowling centre with at least 40 lanes and seating, a swimming pool complex with indoor heated pools replacing the existing Kwun Tong Swimming Pool, and a cultural complex.

On July 23, the department will conduct a second briefing for interested private investors. Those who missed out this time and wish to attend should call the department on 2698 7360.

They may also call 2601 8768 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk to obtain the Expression of Interest documents or to make further enquiries.

End/Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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