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The doors have opened on a new era of creativity at Geelong Arts Centre with the unveiling of its ground-breaking Ryrie Street redevelopment, backed by major investment from the Victorian Government.

The new Geelong Arts Centre spaces have reinvigorated and modernised the 38-year-old centre, creating a striking new landmark and adding to Geelong’s credentials as a UNESCO City of Design.

The Victorian Government provided $37 million towards the $38.5 million project, which will improve accessibility through the centre and has created a new entrance, four state-of-the-art studios, a stunning new foyer bar and a creative industries co-working space spanning an entire floor.

Named the Creative Engine, the new co-working space will provide desks and meeting rooms, a lounge and kitchen where practitioners and organisations will work side by side. Creative Engine will also include a dedicated professional and business development program that will be open to the wider creative community.

Designed by Melbourne-based design studio HASSELL, the project has incorporated both old and new and has included restoration of the heritage-listed church façade and the discovery of artefacts – including a mysterious elephant bone – that trace the history of the Arts Centre site and are now on display in the foyer.

More than 800 workers were involved in the two-year construction project, more than half of who call the Geelong region home.

The next stage of the Centre’s redevelopment is a $128 million transformation of the Little Malop Street end of the building, funded in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

The Arts Centre will host a free open day on Sunday, 17 November from 11:30am-2:00pm for everyone to experience the new entrance with tours and entertainment.

For more information on all programming, please click here

Updated on 26 May 2023