The City of Greater Geelong and Geelong Gallery are seeking support to proceed to detailed design and advanced planning for a significant expansion of the Gallery into City Hall and the adjoining conference centre.
The opening of the Wurriki Nyal precinct means City Hall will be reserved for civic and ceremonial events and the remaining space could be shared with the Gallery to deliver drawcard exhibitions for the Geelong region.
As well as delivering major national and international touring exhibitions, the expansion would enable the Gallery to exhibit more of its nationally significant collection. Currently the Gallery can display only two per cent of its magnificent holdings.
The Gallery presented the Archibald Prize in 2017, and again in 2018, and welcomed 116,000 and 160,000 to the Gallery across the two years respectively. The economic impact of the Archibald Prize in Geelong over the two-year period was $14.25 million.
In 2021, the Gallery hosted RONE in Geelong, supported by the City of Greater Geelong through Geelong Major Events, attracting almost 47,000 people and contributing $7.8 million to the economy.
In 2021-2022, the Gallery hosted Archie 100 attracting 47,300 visitors (63 per cent from outside the region) and contributing $7.72M to the local economy, a much-needed boost following the challenges of COVID-19.
For more information visit Geelong Gallery expansion key facts.
Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan
Geelong Gallery’s expansion is among Council’s key priority projects, and we have been advocating to the federal and state governments to support this iconic redevelopment in our UNESCO City of Design. The project will deliver significant benefits for the creative community, tourism growth and hospitality businesses – industries that were amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic.
The Business Case delivered in December 2021 details a robust and convincing argument for the Gallery’s expansion, and we now need federal and state investment to deliver this transformative project for our region. Geelong Gallery is a major cultural institution, and its expansion would provide a drawcard visitor experience and generate economic uplift during the Commonwealth Games and beyond.
Geelong Gallery Director and CEO, Jason Smith:
The redevelopment of Geelong Gallery through a proposed expansion, including into the historic City Hall will present a new model of a regional art gallery for the 21st century: it will be a contemporary architectural and design experience, and a cultural, learning, and social space that also honours the civic and ceremonial heritage of the City Hall. The redevelopment project is ready for funding to proceed to detailed design, advanced planning for procurement, and construction.