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The Concept of Building a Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most significant cultural projects in the world.
The idea of creating a cultural district in Hong Kong dates back to 1998. Shortly after, the concept of building the West Kowloon Cultural District was featured in the Chief Executive’s Policy Address.
In 2006, recognising that arts and culture are a vital part of any world-class city’s economic and social fabric, the HKSAR Government established the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the District and its three advisory groups. After consulting with the local arts community and related parties, the Government recommended developing various performing arts venues, a cultural institution with museum functions and an exhibition centre; it also recommended developing the District as a low-density harbour-front development with ample open space and close ties to its neighbouring community.
To realise this vision, the Government set up a statutory body - the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, to take forward this project. On 11 July 2008, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Ordinance, Cap. 601 was enacted by the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council also approved an upfront endowment of HK$21.6 billion for developing the West Kowloon Cultural District. A three-stage Public Engagement Exercise was then carried out between 2009 and 2011, where opinions, needs and aspirations of the public were sought. The findings helped shortlist and finalise the Conceptual Plan and subsequently the Development Plan for the District.
From Planning to Realisation
The facilities of the District will be delivered in phases. The construction of the Xiqu Centre, the first venue to be built in the District kick-started on 24 September 2013.
In anticipation of the opening of the first building, we are already busy presenting annual flagship programmes like the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre and Freespace Fest, our nomadic Mobile M+ exhibitions, as well as other arts and learning events on and off site. In recognition of the general need in Hong Kong for more arts professionals, we are continually working with local and international cultural institutions to offer professional development opportunities.