Building taken back from RTHK not needed after all - RTHK
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Building taken back from RTHK not needed after all

2021-02-25 HKT 18:17
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  • Building taken back from RTHK not needed after all
The government said on Thursday that it was putting RTHK's former Educational Television Centre up for sale, just months after the broadcaster was evicted from the site, ostensibly because another government department needed the space.

Around 100 RTHK staff members were working at the building on Broadcast Drive in Kowloon, but in May last year the station was given a few months' notice to get out.

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau had told Legco at the time that RTHK had stopped making ETV programmes and the Education Bureau needed the site back to meet its own needs for office space.

But just a few months since RTHK staff decamped and squeezed into the station's other cramped and dilapidated facilities, the ETV building is being put on a list of 15 residential sites to be sold by the government in the coming year.

Development Secretary Michael Wong said he had been told that the Education Bureau no longer requires the space.

"EDB has confirmed to us that they will no longer need to use those office space. So like other government sites or buildings that are no longer used by the current user, it goes back to the Lands Department and then we'll consider its future use," Wong said at a press conference.

He said the site had already been rezoned for residential use. It's expected to provide 80 flats.

The Education Bureau, for its part, said in view of the overall planning in the community, the ETV site is better suited for residential development.

A spokesman said staff currently working there will move out, and the building will become a temporary government office before it's sold.

In 2014, the government dropped its plan for a new headquarters for RTHK after pro-establishment lawmakers signalled they would not agree to the expected HK$5.3 billion price tag.

The publication on Wednesday of the government's spending plans for 2021/2022 revealed that the public broadcaster faces a 4.6 percent reduction in its budget, with the biggest cuts to be made in TV production.
Last updated: 2021-02-25 HKT 21:28