The Victorian State Government today announced that Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will be expanded to include extra hotel rooms.
However, it hasn’t been revealed if the new rooms will be an extension to the existing Hilton Melbourne South Wharf or if a new hotel will be constructed on the site.
In addition to this, the current proposal will see retail space, additional car parks and multi-purpose convention and exhibition facilities add to the South Wharf site footprint.
The industry has welcome this news as the venue turns 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.
King said, “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,” said King.
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.