With Hong Kong ceasing to be a British colony, the current British Trade Commission is due to take on a different capacity. It will become the commercial section of the British Consulate-General, a multi-storey complex now being built opposite the Conrad Hotel. Consulate staff now being recruited are expected to start work in the new building later this year. Trade Commission spokesman William Dickson said the consulate would have about 70 staff, roughly double the number at the commission. 'We are starting to build up staff to have them in place and trained in advance of the handover,' said Mr Dickson. To be sited at the same building will be the office of the Joint Liaison Group, which, according to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, is to be operational until 2000 to oversee the implementation of the historic agreement. Close to the future embassy will be the Chinese Foreign Ministry building. At this stage, the fate of Government House, the Governor's Fanling Lodge and the Legislative Council building is unclear. They are to be left to the discretion of the future SAR government and the chief executive. The Governor's spokesman Kerry McGlynn said there has been no official indication yet on how Government House will be used. 'One would hope that as a historical landmark, some public use will be made of it,' he said.