The final stage of a $128 million redevelopment of the Geelong Arts Centre has been given the green light by the Minister for Planning, as a part of the Victorian Government’s work to ensure the heart of Geelong is a thriving place for locals and tourists.
“We’re supporting projects that create local jobs and encourage visitors to Geelong,” said Minister for Planning Richard Wynne. “This redevelopment will be a feature for the city and a hub for cultural events.”
The transformation of the Geelong Arts Centre into a landmark cultural facility in the heart of Geelong that supports jobs and attracts visitors and events. The existing Little Malop Street building will be redeveloped to include exciting new performance venues and theatres, striking new indoor and outdoor areas, dining options, a new box office, and front and back of house facilities.
The project will enable the Geelong Arts Centre to attract a greater diversity of quality productions from around Australia and internationally, and will provide more opportunities for local artists, schools and community groups.
“This is a wonderful project that will give Geelong a real landmark cultural facility,” said Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson. “History shows that cities with proud cultural institutions are vibrant and exciting places to live and visit.”
Reflecting Geelong’s status as a UNESCO City of Design, the project’s unique façade will take the form of a theatre drape curtain with tie-back ropes and tassles, creating an engaging streetscape for visitors.
This final stage builds on the successful major overhaul of the 750-seat Playhouse Theatre in 2010 and the Ryrie Street Redevelopment in November 2019. It will create approximately 600 construction jobs and more than 300 ongoing local jobs in the tourism and service industries.
“This is an exciting milestone for Geelong. 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,” said Member for Geelong Christine Couzens.
The Little Malop Street precinct is scheduled for opening in 2023. For more information, visit: www.geelongartscentre.org.au for details.
Image: Geelong Arts Centre exterior – photo by Rory Gardiner