Green light for Geelong Arts Centre’s final makeover
THE final stage of the Geelong Arts Centre refurbishment has been given the go ahead as part of the state government’s $128 million commitment to the region.
Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, gave the nod for further construction to take place following the overhaul of the 750-seat Playhouse Theatre in 2010 and the Ryrie Street redevelopment in November 2019.
Mr Wynne said the transformation will provide a cultural landmark in the heart of Geelong.
“We’re supporting projects that create local jobs and encourage visitors to Geelong,” he said.
“This redevelopment will be a feature for the city and a hub for cultural events.”
The final stage of development is set to create up to 600 construction jobs and more than 300 ongoing jobs in tourism and service industries.
Upon completion the Arts Centre will look to attract a diverse quality of productions both nationally and internationally, while also providing greater opportunities for local artists, school and community groups.
The refurbished building is set to feature new performance venues and theatres, new indoor and outdoor areas, dining options, a new box office as well as front and back of house facilities.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson says the project reflects the importance of establishing a cultural hub.
“This is a wonderful project,” he said. “History shows that cities with proud cultural institutions are vibrant and exciting places to live and visit.”
The development will pay respects to the city’s status as a UNSECO City of Design by taking the form of theatre curtains with tie back ropes to engage visitors with a unique streetscape.
Member for Geelong Christine Couzens called the announcement an “exciting milestone” for the region.
“The contribution of the local Traditional Owners Group has been crucial in landing the right design so that people in Geelong can enjoy this theatre for generations to come,” Ms Couzens said.
The Little Malop Street redevelopment is set to be completed in 2023.