Sydney City, Sydney Harbour, Sydney

Four contracts to create an interim exhibition centre at Glebe Island have been agreed upon, paving the way for early site works to begin this month, Infrastructure NSW has announced.

Infrastructure NSW Project Director Tim Parker said the interim facilities were required to support the exhibition and events industry while new world-class facilities are built at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

The convention and exhibition facilities at Darling Harbour will close in December this year. The interim exhibition space will open for the industry’s 2014 season, which starts in February next year.

The NSW Government has agreed to the contracts for delivery of the interim facilities. The contracts are now in the process of being signed by all parties.

The ‘Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island’ will offer:
∗Pavilion-style fully-serviced exhibition space of 20,000 square metres;
*Options for an additional 5,000 square metres for temporary expansion for larger public exhibitions and trade shows;
∗Event-related food and beverage facilities, such as pop-up cafes and restaurants; and
∗Back of house facilities, such as a loading-dock, storage and waste management.

Parker said Infrastructure NSW was the agency managing the delivery of the new facilities, and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority was managing the operations.

The following contracts have been secured:
∗Leading international events company, GL Events, for supply of the 20,000 square metre, high quality hard-walled exhibition structure. The structure was most recently used during the London Olympics;
∗International operator, AEG Ogden, to operate the interim facilities. AEG Ogden will also operate the new facilities at Darling Harbour when they open at the end of 2016, facilitating a smooth transition from Glebe Island to the brand new facilities once complete;
∗Lend Lease as managing contractor to deliver the entire site works, including pouring a 26,000 square metre slab as the first step for building the pavilion-style structure, and the installation of fire services, generators and air-conditioning needed to support the facility during operation; and
∗Pacific Pontoons to build a temporary ferry wharf at Glebe Island. Ferry and shuttle bus services will operate to provide access to the site on event days only.

In addition to the 20,000 square metre structure, an additional 5,000 square metre structure will allow for the temporary expansion of the facility to accommodate the few larger events that require extra space.

Parker thanked the exhibition industry for its patience while Infrastructure NSW worked to provide the interim facilities at Glebe Island.

“Infrastructure NSW has been working closely with the industry representatives as part of a shared commitment to get the facility up and running,” he said.

Parker said there were currently more than 120 events holding space at the interim facility, and AEG Ogden would continue discussions with exhibition organisers to finalise arrangements.

Large public exhibitions and trade shows attract more than half a million people each year and generate annually about $100 million in economic benefit for NSW.

According to Infrastructure NSW, Glebe Island, which is owned by Sydney Ports, is the only site able to accommodate the interim facility.

When the new facilities at Darling Harbour open at the end of 2016 they will be some of the largest, most flexible and technologically-advanced in Australia, supporting the growth of the major events industry over the long term.