The Melbourne Arts Precinct is being transformed into one of the great creative and cultural destinations in the world thanks to a bold, city-shaping Victorian Government vision.

$1.46 billion has been announced to fund the first phase of Australia’s largest cultural infrastructure project.

Looking towards spire

Image looking south


Situated in Southbank, the Melbourne Arts Precinct already has one of the highest concentrations of arts, cultural and creative organisations anywhere in the world – and presents up to 3000 performances and exhibitions in a typical year.

It’s home to the most visited art gallery and busiest performing arts centre in the country, the best arts education and training institutions, iconic architecture, galleries, theatres, music venues, studios, creative co-working spaces and more.

However, most of this activity happens behind closed doors, the precinct is disjointed and difficult to navigate, there is limited outdoor public space, and our major cultural institutions are bursting at the seams.

The largest ever cultural infrastructure project in Australia, the multi-faceted Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation will be delivered over two phases:

Phase One

  • A unique new 18,000 square metre immersive public garden in the heart of the precinct, including space for outdoor art and performances
  • NGV Contemporary, a new gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design – set to be the largest of its kind in Australia
  • New connections and improved access into and through the precinct
  • Underground shared services that will ensure the seamless and sustainable operations of the precinct and its venues

Phase Two

  • An upgraded and reimagined Arts Centre Melbourne Theatres Building, beneath the iconic spire
  • A new Centre for Creativity, run by Arts Centre Melbourne, with spaces and facilities for Victoria’s small to medium and independent arts sector, a new performing arts gallery and an expanded Australian Music Vault

The Victorian Government has committed $1.46 billion in the 2020–21 State Budget to deliver Phase One of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation and lay the groundwork for Phase Two.