on 31 January 1997
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 176 - SUBVENTIONS: MISCELLANEOUS
New Capital Account Subhead "Grant to the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation"
Members are invited to approve a new non-recurrent commitment of $300 million for a grant to the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation for establishing an Arts and Sport Development Fund.
The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) and the Hong Kong Sports Development Board (SDB) need additional funds to implement their strategic plans for Hong Kong's artistic and sporting development respectively.
2. We propose to set up an Arts and Sport Development Fund under the aegis of the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation to provide funding for the key initiatives identified by the ADC and SDB in their respective five-year strategic plans.
3. The ADC and the SDB are statutory bodies tasked with developing respectively the arts and sport in Hong Kong. The two organisations currently receive annual subventions from Government aimed at meeting their staff, administrative and programme costs. Both the ADC and the SDB have appealed for additional funding for the key proposals in their respective five-year plans, in order that they can fulfil their statutory roles to promote and foster Hong Kong's cultural and sporting development.
4. The ADC has a vision for a more dynamic and diverse arts scene in Hong Kong which will improve the quality of life for the whole community. To achieve this, and in order to respond better to the arts community's needs and aspirations, and to deploy better its resources on the various arts disciplines, the ADC drew up its first Five-Year Strategic Plan in December 1995, following consultation with the community.
5. The ADCs strategic plan contains a range of key tasks for achieving the vision of the ADC. These tasks focus on the following four broad goals -
For widening the base for arts appreciation and participation through promotion, information and community education;
For recognition and professional development of artists and arts workers;
For opening up opportunities for audiences and artists and art workers' development through the provision of support services and public and private funding; and
For enhancing the public visibility of the arts and the contributions of artists and arts workers to society and for mobilising community support from all levels and sectors.
6. Under its strategic plan, the ADC envisages that it will spend some $130 million this year and $200 million in 1997-98 and the years afterwards. In view of the proposed sharp increase in expenditure which cannot be fully met by the recurrent subvention, we have asked the ADC to prioritise the programmes in its strategic plan so as to identify those which are more urgent and critical for implementation. We estimate that in addition to the recurrent subvention, we need to provide a total of some $150 million to the ADC in order to enable it to carry out all its high priority programmes covered by the Plan for the period up to 2000-01.
7. We recognise and appreciate the importance of the arts to a progressive society. We therefore propose to provide a substantial one-off injection of funds in support of the ADCs high priority programmes.
8. Hong Kong has some of the best sporting and recreational facilities in Asia, if not the world. But there are few local athletes who measure up to the international standards which one would associate with such facilities. As a result, Hong Kong's major sporting venues tend to be dominated by events featuring overseas athletes. Equally, Hong Kong has had very limited success in gaining international recognition for our own people's sporting endeavours.
9. There is a clear desire in the community for Hong Kong to feature boldly on the international sporting map. The enthusiastic reaction to Miss Lee Lai-shans winning of the first Olympic Games medal for Hong Kong and to the record-breaking performances of our Paralympic Games athletes last year has showed how important international sporting success is to the community.
10. The SDB's strategic plan is a blueprint for Hong Kong's emergence as an important Asian sporting power. If the key initiatives in this plan can be adopted, there is an excellent prospect that Hong Kong's sporting talent can be nurtured to the extent where it will bring further international recognition and success to the territory.
11. The SDB's strategic plan requires a total of $156.2 million in 1997-98, $346.21 million in 1998-99 and $397.5 million in 1999-2000 to fund all its objectives. The latter two figures include generous provision for the running costs of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, for which we are currently developing a separate strategy. Based on the priorities set by the Board, our assessment is that a total of some $120 to $150 million would be adequate to fund the most important initiatives outlined in the strategic plan.
12. The proposed grant of $300 million to set up the fund will be one-off. There are no additional recurrent financial and staffing implications. If Members approve the proposal, we will make the grant to the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation in 1996-97 and offset the supplementary provision required by deleting an equivalent amount under Head 106 Miscellaneous Services Subhead 789 Additional commitments.
13. We will establish the fund under the aegis of the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation, which is administered by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport (SBCS) who will be the controlling officer of the fund. SBCS will disburse money from the fund on application by the ADC and the SDB on an appropriate basis between the two bodies in accordance with their progress in implementing the initiatives in their respective plans. In addition, SBCS may disburse money from the fund to worthwhile projects not included in the strategic plans of the ADC or SDB if, in his opinion, such projects will make a significant contribution to the further development of arts and sports in the community.
14. We will report all allocations made from the Arts and Sport Development Fund to the Legislative Council. We will invest the balance in the fund in accordance with the requirements of the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation Ordinance and add the interest earned to the overall amount available for allocation.
15. We have consulted the ADC and the SDB informally on the broad concept of the proposed fund. Both have expressed support for the idea to establish such a fund. We have briefed the Legislative Council Panel on Broadcasting, Culture and Sport and have generally received a positive response.
16. The ADC was established as a statutory body under its own Ordinance in June 1995 as a result of the Government's arts policy review conducted in 1993. Under section 4 of its Ordinance, the Council is responsible for the planning, promotion and support for the broad development of the arts in Hong Kong. In addition, it is responsible for advising the Government on the policies and levels of funding relating to arts development. Currently, it has 22 members of whom up to nine members are nominated by the respective arts interests. In the current financial year, it is receiving a recurrent subvention of some $56 million.
17. The SDB was established in 1990 under the Hong Kong Sports Development Board Ordinance (Chapter 1149). Section 4 of the Ordinance sets out the purposes of the Board, the most prominent of which is "to promote the development of sport and physical recreation in Hong Kong". The SDB's members are appointed by the Governor. In the current financial year it is receiving a total subvention of $78.4 million.
Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch
Last Updated on 5 August 1999