May 12, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The organisation behind the management of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET), will take on management responsibilities of Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) when it opens in 2026.

The $294 million infrastructure project is being developed on the Geelong waterfront, with early works to prepare the site for construction beginning in January this year, although architects and builders have yet to be appointed.

GCEC will feature a 1,000-seat plenary space and at least 3,700m2 of flexible event space.

The venue will support 270 ongoing jobs once it is operational.

“We have more than 25 years’ experience hosting and delivering world class business events and we’re excited to start operating in Geelong and the Bellarine,” said MCEC chief executive Peter King.

“We look forward to engaging the local community, businesses and event organisers as the Centre is developed.

“The new facility will expand Geelong’s annual events offering and provide extraordinary experiences to the community and wider region.”

The venue management team will seek to go local as much as possible, including providing local jobs and supporting local produce and supply chains.

The convention centre development will also include a 200-room luxury hotel.

The project has received $261 million in funding from the Victorian government, $30 million from the federal government and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong.