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Ballarat’s got the goods (shed)

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Ballarat’s got the goods (shed)
Historic Ballarat, the goldrush city one hour west of Melbourne, has turned little-used railways buildings and land into its newest meetings and events venue. 

It has also attracted renowned caterers, The Atlantic Group to set up in The 1863 Goods Shed. Hatem Salah’s Atlantic venues in Melbourne’s Docklands were forced to relocate in August 2019 after authorities declared the historic Central Pier infrastructure, on which they were situated, unsafe.

This former railway hub on the edge of the city has given Ballarat a boost with a new $28 million facility that includes a dedicated 308-seat tiered Terminus Theatre, Lydiard Hall, an event space for up to 240 in banquet, and Carriage Conference Rooms for 40 to 120 attendees. Outdoors, the Events Plaza is a landscaped area available separately or with indoor spaces.  Still a work in progress, The Goods Shed already has several eateries onsite, including Nolans for all-day dining and BoomTime.

 The Goods Shed is already home to Itinerant Spirits, a distillery and bar that produces a range of vodka, gin and whisky products. Their gleaming copper and stainless steel stills are set against an impressive heritage bluestone backdrop.

There is on-site car parking and plans for other retail offerings in what is certain to become a popular gathering spot for the local community given it is close to a newly developed Ballarat Railway Station and the 77-room Quest Ballarat Station apartment hotel.  Quest also offers small group meeting spaces in its larger two and three bedroom apartments, which are also aimed at longer stay guests.

As Victoria’s third-largest city, Ballarat has a visitor economy that attracts more than three million local and international visitors a year, generating in excess of $600 million. It has developed its own schedule of business events, helped by the stationing of more than 1,000 state public servants in a new GovHub office complex, and it often holds government conferences for agencies and delegates based in the west of the state.

The new venue beside a railway station may see delegates travelling by public transport to events.

Similar to Melbourne, this city has also developed a range of other major events, such as the Australian Road Cycling championships staged there each January. Its Lake Wendouree, the original 1956 Olympic rowing venue, also stages competitions. Added to this, leisure visitors flock to the Ballarat Begonia Festival held each year in March.

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