PATRICK Deuchar has a large and expensive hall to fill. And when its massive $300 million renovation programme is finished, it will be even larger and all the work will have to be paid for. Hong Kong is home to a lively culture, it is at the forefront of technology and science, and has an active arts scene. And it has plenty of that other commodity valuable to Mr Deuchar and his hall - money. Logical idea: put the two together. That's how Mr Deuchar, 45-year-old farmer turned arts administrator and promoter, explains his plan for a Hong Kong Festival at London's historic Royal Albert Hall. Mr Deuchar, the hall's chief executive, was in Hong Kong this week to drum up enthusiasm for the idea - and for the notion of donating money to the hall's $180 million fund-raising campaign. He's subtle enough about it, though not particularly shy. He adds a ''personal commitment'' card to each of his press kits, just in case a flush reporter - if such a creature exists - feels like slipping a few dollars the Royal Albert's way. ''It's important to find additional funding for the refurbishment of the hall,'' he says of the Hong Kong Festival plan. ''Of course I'm also hoping for a philanthropist.'' It's about bums on seats: since Mr Deuchar took on the loss-making hall in 1989 he has increased its bookings from 240 shows a year to 290, launched a major cost-cutting programme and turned a GBP100,000 a year loss into a profit. But when the full redevelopment of the 5,200-seat hall is finished by the end of the century, he wants the hall booked 320 nights a year. That means expanding its activities beyond the present sumo wrestling, tennis and, of course, its best-known event, the Promenade Concerts festival - the BBC Proms - the 100th of which begins this month. And to Mr Deuchar that means being an entrepreneur. ''It's precarious to be a receiving house, just looking after other people's shows when you are the size of the Royal Albert,'' he says. ''Running the Royal Albert doesn't stop, and if all you are doing is waiting for the telephone to ring to book a show in there, I don't like that. ''I want to be more of an influence on our destiny than has been the case.'' That means coming up with ideas - profitable ones. Hence the Hong Kong Festival plan, which evolved out of a conversation between Mr Deuchar, the then-Hong Kong Commissioner to London, John Yaxley, and Hong Kong businessman Ian Tomlin, who owns a box at the Royal Albert. But Mr Yaxley and Mr Tomlin say it's not just about money. ''There's a terrific bond between the UK and Hong Kong. I feel it, it is something I have grown up with,'' Mr Deuchar says. Mr Tomlin, who has lived in the territory for 42 years, says Hong Kong doesn't promote itself sufficiently. A festival in London, in the tradition of past successful festivals, the most recent at the Barbican in 1991, would ''give people more of a feel for the go, go, go of Hong Kong that we take for granted''. Also, the territory's new Arts Development Council could learn from the Royal Albert's 123 years' experience and a link with the HK Arts Festivals, whose officials met Mr Deuchar, is another possibility. And Hong Kong companies in London would be keen to have their names linked with such an event, he says. Mr Deuchar envisages a celebration of Hong Kong sport, science, technology and arts, but says he wouldn't be the one choosing the events - that should be done at this end, with the Hong Kong Government, private enterprise and arts organisations working together. His job is to be ''the catalyst, to keep the initiative going and to show the Royal Albert Hall is a logical place for a festival of this sort''. As to the timing - late 1996 is mooted. A pre-handover, farewell to the colony show? ''I don't think that is an aspect we would spend five seconds looking at,'' he says. At the annual conference of the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators in Sydney last week, Hong Kong wasn't represented but delegates were enthusiastic about a HK festival touring in Europe. They were also keen to hold their 1997 conference in the territory - with a Hong Kong representative present, they hope. Mr Deuchar began his working life as a farmer in Wiltshire and Berkshire, after training at Wiltshire Agricultural College. ''I tell friends I have not stopped shovelling bullshit ever since,'' he says. But at the age of 22, managing a large farm and realising he was never going to afford his own, he decided it was time for a career change. So he became what he calls ''the Auntie Marje of the agricultural world'' - agony aunt for an agriculture magazine for three years - and from there joined the Royal Show as public relations manager. ''I got bitten by the bug of promotions and big events, ran my own company promoting large events and from there joined World Championship Tennis [as London director] for eight years.'' BY the time he was in line for the Albert Hall job Mr Deuchar's promotional experience had given him very firm views about its inadequacies: ''I had a reputation in the Royal Albert. I was not backward in coming forward with my views about the Royal Albert so they knew what they were getting. ''It was no surprise to them when one of the first programmes I embarked on was a major redundancy programme.'' He dates many of the hall's failings to an event in the 1890s - the removal of the conservatory of the Royal Horticultural Society that was attached to the hall by a small corridor. Until its removal it provided the toilets, the restaurants, the foyer space that had been left out of the hall building to fit in the maximum number of people. ''The hall has never really recovered from that,'' he says, adding that the Royal Albert is one of the world's oldest performing arts centres, and for the first 60 or 70 years of its life had no competition from other London venues for the major performing arts events. But in the early 1950s the South Bank complex was built, then came the Barbican and the expansion of Wembley Stadium. ''They are all competing,'' he says. ''The Royal Albert has had quite a difficult time maintaining itself, because that's all it has been able to do, maintain itself. There has not been any concerted attempt to get ahead of the times.'' Until now. With the requirements of promoters changing and Britain increasingly one stop on a European tour, pressure was on to change. The refurbishment, which has already begun, will create an underground truck entrance under the south steps, with a new hydraulic stage direct to the trucks, meaning fast turnover of shows. And though only 200 seats will be added, everything from the foyers to the toilets will be improved and expanded, the organ renovated, the galleries and auditorium restored. But the plans extend far beyond that - to the Albert Memorial and beyond into the Kensington Gardens. Mr Deuchar's vision is for a pedestrian area around the hall, the main road in front sunk into a cutting with a pedestrian plaza on top. It will be, he says, ''Albertopolis''. And if he has his way - and he intends to - GBP15 million (about HK$180 million) of national lottery money will pay for it. Mr Deuchar's stay in Hong Kong was brief: sightseeing Sunday, meetings Monday and Tuesday, home midweek. There was a ''royal'' reason for the rush. On Wednesday Princess Anne was to visit the hall and he's always there when the royals come calling. He doesn't leave personal commitment cards on their seats - but royal goodwill and a high public profile are handy assets for a body looking for GBP15 million from the gambling public.