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Push For Phuket Conference Center And Sports Complex

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Tossaporn pushes for Phuket conference center and sports complex

phuket-One-of-the-many-artists-conceptions-of-what-Phukets-convention-would-look-like-This-one-was-pitched-for-Saphan-Hin-last-year-1-ctlFtiM.jpg

One of the many artist's conceptions of what

Phuket's convention would look like. This one

was pitched for Saphan Hin last year.

PHUKET: -- Funds for Phuket’s long-awaited convention center are to be included in next year's budget, according to Phuket MP Tossaporn Thepabutr. If the budget is approved, the center could be finished within three years.

The convention center has been on the drawing boards for well over a decade. The center was initially proposed to be built on reclaimed land off Saphan Hin in Phuket City, but disagreements over whether that was the optimal location and political factors have kept the project from becoming a reality.

In October 2007, a provincial government committee finally decided on a 350-rai plot of land in Mai Khao that would allow the project to go forward without incurring land costs because the site falls under the he Treasury Department’s State Property Management and Service Office, (or Ratchapassadu).

In July last year, however, the Ratchapassadu said it had allocated a 150-rai plot of land at Tah Chat Chai for the project.

Mr Tossaporn has said the proposed 150-rai area should be doubled in order to surround the center with green areas that would make the facility more attractive.

In January, the MP said that he expects a government budget of between 200 and 300-million baht to be made available in 2010 for a feasibility and environmental impact study.

Under the governorship of Niran Kalayanamit, plans to finance the building of the center with funding from ING Funds (Thailand) were drawn up, but political instability and the provisions of the public-private partnership act further delayed the project.

Mr Tossaporn is also pushing for a 17.5mn baht budget to commission new plans for a sports complex in Mai Khao, another project that has been on the drawing boards for many years.

The Phuket MP says that a businessman involved with the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix is interested in building the complex with private funds. Mr Tossaporn did not reveal the identity of the investor, but said that he is interested in renting the 238-rai plot earmarked for the complex and investing all of the capital himself.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has already spent seven million baht on a design for the complex. Mr Tossaporn, however, said that the design was too skewed toward tennis and the space could be better used.

“Personally, I’m looking to put the space inside the complex to better use than in the original design. We have to use the complex to answer all the problems we have in promoting sports tourism,” Mr Tossaporn said.

To be worth the land and investment, the complex would have to be able to attract athletes, sports scientists and trainers from around the world, he said.

Mr Tossaporn is pushing for the funds for the redesign to be included in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports 2010 budget.

If that is unsuccessful, he will push for it to be included in the mid-year budget, or for the funds to be allocated from the economic stimulus package, he said.

He gave no indication of the time-scale for the project.

-- Manager Online 2009-05-21

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From Wednesday 13th May 2009:

see VDO item 1 on http://thainews.prd.go.th/newsenglish/prev...hp?news_id=1105

An international convention centre in Phuket is listed in the government second phase stimulus package.

Phuket’s long needed international convention centre is confirmed to be added in the government’s second phase stimulus package. The information was confirmed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva during his private visit to Phuket and interview with local press at Phuket Airport on Sunday evening. The prime minister said Phuket is quite well equipped with infrastructure, particularly for accommodation and that the government supports the island in relation to tourism as the island earns the country foreign currencies from the hospitality industry. On the local side, Mrs. Anchalee Vanit Theppabutr, in her capacity as Deputy Secretary General to the Prime Minister, stated that the project is planned to be built on state land at Mai Khao, on the north side of the island. A feasibility study has been carried out for the plot and that the Ministry of Finance agreed the utilization of the plot. She said she has been consulting with the private sector and they suggest that exhibition facility should also be a focus to make the best use of the new development. Anchalee expects the project to be completed by 2012. The Department of Treasury is responsible for the plan design and the construction is expected to cost around 2 billion baht.

Andaman News NBT TV (VHF dial) at 8.30am & perhaps repeats on Phuket Cable TV channel 1 at 3.30pm, 7pm & 1am, broadcast to Phang Nga, Krabi & Phuket provinces & Mazz Radio FM108 at 7pm in Phuket, Wednesday 13th May 2009 & http://thainews.prd.go.th/newsenglish/

& www.YouTube.com/AndamanNews

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