Plenary Conventions achieves financial close on Geelong convention centre precinct development

18 December 2023​

Built is excited to be part of the Plenary Conventions consortium which has achieved financial close on the $456 million Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct development.

“Built is proud to be the construction partner in the Plenary Conventions consortium for the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct development,” said Brett Mason, CEO and Managing Director.

With more than 1,450 jobs being supported during construction, we’re proud to be working with a host of local subcontractors and suppliers to maximise local content including a partnership with local recruitment firm gforce to support 28 new local apprentice and trainee positions from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We are committed to contributing to the region’s ongoing investment through the creation of local jobs throughout the delivery of this transformative piece of infrastructure,” he added.

The centre will comprise a purpose-built convention and exhibition space with a 1,000-seat venue, two large exhibition spaces, conference facilities, flexible event spaces and meeting rooms with prime views of Corio Bay.

The precinct development also includes private sector investment in associated commercial development comprising an initial $120 million investment to deliver Geelong’s largest hotel – a 200-room Crowne Plaza hotel – and a further $130 million in future education and commercial spaces within a mixed-use precinct.

The convention centre is being delivered as a precinct partnership under the Victorian Government’s new infrastructure procurement framework, with Plenary Conventions to finance, design, construct and maintain the facility for 25 years in partnership with the Victorian Government and its funding partners under the Geelong City Deal, the Australian Government and City of Greater Geelong.

The Plenary Conventions consortium comprises

  • Plenary Group as sponsor, investor, and asset manager across all elements
  • Built as builder
  • BGIS as facilities management services contractor
  • Woods Bagot as design and architecture lead

Plenary is providing 100% of the equity financing for the convention centre, hotel and mixed-use precinct. Debt is being provided by leading domestic and international banks ANZ, Westpac and ICBC.

Once operational, the precinct will support more than 700 ongoing jobs.

Plenary Group Chief Investment Officer Paul Crowe said the consortium is relishing the opportunity to bring such an iconic project to fruition.

“This is such a transformative project for Geelong, and one that will provide lasting social and economic benefits to the whole region,” Mr Crowe said.

“The stunning convention centre will be a marquee addition to the Geelong waterfront. It will attract more visitors to the region, providing social and economic value for decades.

“This whole project is a great example of collaborative capital invested alongside public funding. We look forward to working in partnership with the Victorian Government to bring it to life.”

The Victorian Government is contributing $423 million towards the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct, with the Australian Government contributing $30 million and the City of Greater Geelong $3 million. The project is a commitment of the Geelong City Deal.

Work is underway, with construction expected to be completed and the centre operational in 2026.

Let’s work together