New A$170m Convention and Exhibition Centre to be built on Geelong waterfront
The Australian city of Geelong is set to get a A$170m new build convention and exhibition centre on the site of the car park at Deakin University’s waterfront campus.
Early plans indicate that the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will be capable of accommodating up to 1,000 plenary delegates, have 3,000m² of pillar-less exhibition space, banquet facilities, meeting rooms, a business centre and retail outlets.
A four-star, 200-key hotel adjoining the precinct has also been included in the plans.
The Convention and Exhibition Centre will deliver a purpose-built, private public partnership funded centre for conventions and exhibitions including:
- Multipurpose format to accommodate small to medium size events
- Seating for up to 1,000 people in banquet setting
- 1,000 seat auditorium with smaller theatrettes
- 3,000m² pillar-less exhibition / display area
- Ancillary facilities including parking, retail and associated facilities
- Provision for a 4-star hotel of at least 200 rooms as part of the complex.
Funding for the new purpose-built centre is part of the A$355m Geelong City Deal, a joint agreement struck between Federal and Victorian Governments.
The State Government has committed:
- A$140m towards a Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre through the Geelong City Deal
- The Convention Centre’s redevelopment to be a ‘strategic project’, requiring it to use 90 per cent local content under the Victorian Government’s Local Jobs First policy
- Funding towards the Geelong Development Authority to commission a business case that will form the basis of a funding application and development decisions.
The Federal Government has committed:
- A$30m towards a Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre through the Geelong City Deal.
Other improvements to the region to be funded under the deal include a revitalisation of central Geelong, upgrades to infrastructure along Great Ocean Road, and a new ferry terminal in Queenscliff to enhance services crossing Port Phillip Bay.
Geelong Convention Bureau Manager, Mark Day, stated:
It’s fantastic news…it will not only inject A$50m in economic impact annually to the region once operational, but it will also open us up to bid for larger pieces of business that we have previously not been able to.
Chris Porter, Executive Officer at Business Events Victoria, said the funding commitment from both parties highlights the importance of the business events industry, he added:
Having a dedicated convention and exhibition centre in Geelong is paramount for continuing to grow regional Victoria’s share of this lucrative industry.