Geelong Performing Arts Centre - Ryrie Street Redevelopment


Construction is currently expected to take about 18 months.

GPAC will do everything possible to minimise disruptions to daily activities during the construction phase. However, there will be impacts to the availability of studio spaces for a period, as the current studios will be demolished to make way for upgraded facilities. The Playhouse balcony will also be closed for a period.

We will provide as much notice as possible regarding any impacts.

Kane Constructions were appointed to build the new facilities in August 2017. Kane Constructions have a strong presence in Geelong, having completed the 2010 refurbishment of the arts centre’s main theatre, The Playhouse, as well as the recent redevelopment of Simmonds Stadium and the award winning Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

It is expected that more than 100 jobs will be created during construction.

The redevelopment will:

  • Be a key project in the revitalisation of Geelong’s CBD, and particularly the cultural precinct.
  • Transform and reinvigorate Ryrie Street with striking architecture, a major new entrance
  • Provide vibrant new public spaces and offer facilities for the local artists and community that are second to none and accessible to all.
  • Deliver great cultural facilities which will make the city attractive to new business, investors, tourists and residents,
  • Be a major driver of the economic growth of Geelong.
  • Create jobs and stimulate the local economy particularly during its construction.

The creative and cultural economy is growing more quickly than the broader economy. As a key part of the creative industries GPAC will deliver economic, social and cultural benefits to Geelong and the region. Creative and cultural industries play a key role across virtually every area of society – from education and health, to justice, science, innovation, business and community development – thereby addressing disadvantage and contributing to the cultural, social and economic fabric of communities.

The improved spaces will begin to address and demonstrate the changing role of arts organisations in the 21st century where they can support and facilitate new creative engagement through a multitude of different platforms and channels.

The project will include work to reveal the walls of the original church to Ryrie Street, and, integrate it into the wider arts centre complex. It will continue to operate as a studio and rehearsal space and be available for community use after this stage of the redevelopment is complete. Initial design work for a full conversion of the interior into a performance space has been undertaken and this is part of the longer term aspiration for the site.

Hassell Studio’s Mark Loughnan, who was raised in Geelong, is the Lead Architect. Hassell is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.

The Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) Ryrie Street redevelopment is expected to cost $38.5 million funded by the Victorian Government ($30 million from Regional Development Victoria’s ‘Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund’ and $7 million from Creative Victoria) and philanthropic support. This includes disruption to business funding and additional operational costs for GPAC during the redevelopment. The Victorian Government funding was first announced in the 2015/16 Budget.