A $305 MILLION redevelopment will transform the city’s convention and exhibition centre into the nation’s biggest and boost the Victorian economy.
Anew space at South Wharf will bring the centre’s total size to more than 70,000sq m, while a 331-room hotel and multi-deck carpark will also feature in the development.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, which includes “Jeff’s Shed”, presently generates an estimated $960 million for the state economy every year, but this is expected to rise to $1.5 billion by 2026.
It has hosted 86 national and international conventions and 78 exhibitions in the past year.
The expansion is expected to see an extra 74,000 international visitors to the centre a year.
MCEC chief executive Peter King said the vision was to create a vibrant events and entertainment destination.
“This exciting new addition incorporates a range of spaces for events of all types and sizes,” he said.
“We’ve listened carefully to our customers to deliver a greater choice of meeting rooms, and have worked hard to design adaptable but inspiring spaces so we can provide more of what our customers need.”
Mr King said the expansion would ensure Melbourne was the undisputed business events capital of Australia.
But he said the huge venue in Melbourne’s CBD was more than just a convention and exhibition centre.
“It is a place to gather, to learn, to connect and to engage,” he said.
“It is a place to experience and where moments of inspiration are created.”
The State Government is providing $205 million for the expansion, while infrastructure investor and manager Plenary Group and its partners are pitching in more than $100 million.
Plenary has appointed contractor ProBuild to construct the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion, a new hotel and car park.
The new centre is expected to open in 2018.