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Overseas Health Insurance News: British talent involved in Hong Kong arts hub

The development of a large scale arts hub in Hong Kong is not just good for expatriates living in the administrative region looking for entertainment options, but also those in the design and building industries.

Construction has already started on the West Kowloon Cultural District, which has been granted £1.8 billion from the Hong Kong government, and several British companies are involved in its creation.

When completed, the complex with have 17 venues for hosting arts and cultural events, including opera, music and contemporary performance.

Michael Lynch, chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, said: "The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest arts and cultural development projects in the world, and set to become a remarkable new destination in Asia.

"With opportunities within infrastructure and content development across cultural venues, residential facilities, retail, dining and entertainment, the district presents a unique offer."

Two competitions were staged inviting international architecture firms to submit proposals for major venues within the complex and one was won by British company Foster + Partners.

Sir Norman Foster, leader of the firm, is responsible for the design of Wembley Stadium and the icon of the London financial district, the Gherkin.

The winner of the other competition was TFP Farrells, an international company with offices in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Hugo Swire, the minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, suggested that experience was key to why Britain has won these high profile contracts.

He said: "From our art galleries, to our museums, to our music industry, Britain has world-class institutions and expertise to help deliver cultural infrastructure around the world.

"With the West Kowloon Cultural District expected to attract a great number of both local and overseas visitors, we have an unparalleled opportunity to help Hong Kong develop a world-class cultural centre."

The Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera is the first part of the project scheduled for completion and expected to be opened to the public towards the end of 2016.

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