|October 24, 2014|
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion Announced
|Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is delighted with the Victorian State Government's announcement today of the venue's proposed expansion, a move that will retain MCEC's mantle as Australia's largest and busiest convention and exhibition centre.|
The proposal expands the South Wharf precinct footprint to include new retail space, additional car parks, hotel accommodation and multi-purpose convention and exhibition facilities.
MCEC's expansion proposal has been endorsed across the industry as the venue continues to turn away nearly 20 per cent of new business opportunities due to lack of available space.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust Chairman Bob Annells said: "The expansion business case has been in the pipeline with the Victorian State Government and stakeholders for some time and we are grateful for their support.
"We also thank our many supporters, including VECCI, who have been pushing this important project which will significantly benefit the entire state.
"The investment supports the ongoing work MCEC conducts with the Melbourne Convention Bureau to attract business events to Victoria which are worth around $1.2 billion each year and generate 22,600 jobs."
MCEC Chief Executive Peter King said the expansion proposal is in response to the changing business events industry, customer expectations and worldwide competition.
"This highly anticipated announcement is huge news for the industry and Victoria and further strengthens our position as Australia's number one business events destination.
"The expansion could include additional exhibition and banquet space, smaller meeting rooms, new plenary options and an exciting new indoor-outdoor networking and entertainment space.
"The development will enhance the flexibility of the whole precinct and ensure MCEC continues to deliver world class event experiences," King added.
MCEC's success has exceeded expectations following the Victorian State Government's previous investment to build the new Convention Centre, which opened in 2009.
In the last 12 months MCEC recorded its most successful year in history, hosting 1030 events with nearly 1.5 million visitors and generating more than $274 million for Victoria. The venue's success is set to continue with record growth projected again this financial year.
MCEC is recognised globally for its excellence in event delivery and in the last 12 months hosted some of the world's largest medical conferences including the World Diabetes Congress, World Congress of Cardiology and the 20th Internationals AIDS Conference.
The Victorian State Government will be working with Plenary and their partners to negotiate and finalise the proposed expansion master plan with details to follow in the coming months.