The Southbank arts precinct is set for a major transformation, with plans to house the biggest contemporary art gallery in Australia.
The Victorian Government announced that the new gallery will be built on the Carlton and United Breweries site behind the current Arts Centre and National Gallery of Victoria.
Dubbed the NGV Contemporary, the new space will specifically showcase contemporary art and design, with premier Daniel Andrews saying it will be Australia’s “biggest and best”.
“This is all about re-imaging this whole arts precinct, opening up Southbank … and setting us up to be not only the sports capital of our nation, but the cultural capital,” Andrews said in a statement reported by The ABC.
The State Government are kickstarting the project with $208 million, which will cover the cost of purchasing the site and the initial planning stage. Further funding hasn’t been cemented yet, but Mr Andrews is confident it will be supported by “Melbourne’s philanthropic community.”
As well as the new gallery, there’ll also be upgrades to theatres at the Arts Centre, an expansion of the Australian Music Vault, new bars and restaurants, bike tracks, a new centre for independent arts organisations, and more green spaces.
Overall, this project will result in 18,000 square metres of new and redeveloped public space, making it easier for people to move around Southbank and the connecting arts precinct.
The Government said the development is expected to create 10,000 jobs during construction, with 260 ongoing.
Considering the Arts Centre and NGV together attract over six million visitors a year, the arts precinct makeover is a welcome upgrade.