Melbourne trust to run Geelong convention centre

May 23, 2022 BY

An artists render of the future Geelong Convention Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

GEELONG’S Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) will be operated by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, operator of the capital city’s premier function space.

The amalgamation, jointly announced last week by the Geelong Council, Victorian and Commonwealth governments, is being touted as enabling an increase for opportunities and collaboration across each centre.

“The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with its prime waterfront location and proximity to Avalon Airport, has the potential to attract major national and international events that would otherwise be the exclusive domain of our capital cities,” Paul Fletcher said, the federal Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and Arts Minister.

Construction on the waterfront centre is yet to commence, however the Victorian Government has allocated more than $260 million of the total project value of $294 million that includes contributions from the Commonwealth Government and City of Greater Geelong.

The GCEC is the marquee project of the Geelong City Deal, a $500 million commitment between the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong to revitalise the city, regional economy and encouraging more visitors to spend longer periods of time in the region.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust provides governance and strategic oversight of the MCEC and is responsible to the Minister for Tourism, Martin Pakula.

“The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will work together to cement Victoria as a premier global destination for events,” Mr Pakula said.

A pairing of the centres has prompted a review of the name and function of MCEC to ensure it reflects its expanded focus and footprint in Geelong.

“We have more than 25 years’ experience hosting and delivering world class business events and we’re excited to bring this experience to Geelong and the Bellarine,” MCEC CEO Peter King said.

“We look forward to engaging the local community, businesses, and event organisers as the Centre is developed.”

Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor Cr Trent Sullivan welcomed the opportunity to work with the Melbourne institution.

“The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust has a strong reputation as being a knowledgeable and experienced operator and this expertise will ensure the long-awaited Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre is a success.”