THE FUTURE Darling Harbour precinct will boast an international convention centre, a premium entertainment venue, a 900-key hotel and refreshed public spaces, revealed the New South Wales government on Tuesday.
The precinct, carrying the working title Darling Harbour Live, is expected to be ready by December 2016.
The new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), part of Darling Harbour Live, will be developed by a consortium comprising AEG Ogden, Lend Lease, Capella Capital and Spotless Facilities Services, with AEG Ogden playing the role of venue operator.
MICE facilities at ICC Sydney will include a convention facility capable of hosting four concurrent events with more than 12,000 delegates, a 40,000m2 exhibition facility, a 5,000m2 external events deck, an 8,000-seat red carpet theatre, and a grand ballroom with capacity for more than 2,000 banquet guests.
Business Events Sydney (BESydney) CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, said: “Sydney needs an iconic, contemporary and versatile meetings precinct befit of Australia’s global city. This innovation hub in the heart of Sydney will create opportunities to host more international events that help to drive our knowledge economy. The precinct will also be a hive of residential and retail, leisure spaces and more. It will connect our educational, creative and multicultural precincts.”
Lewis-Smith added that Darling Harbour Live “will ensure Sydney maintains its leading position as Australia’s premier business events destination” and pointed out that the destination bagged events delivering an estimated A$225.6 million (US$237.9 million) in economic impact last year.
“This doesn’t include the trade and investment opportunities created, or the results of global innovation taking place right here in Sydney,” she said.
Several event planners have expressed interest in using ICC Sydney, according to Lewis-Smith.
“We’ve had clients commit to hosting their event in the facility, even ahead of seeing any designs or floor plans. This speaks volumes about the excitement that’s being generated by news of the development, and of course, the trust that our clients have in Sydney’s ability to deliver,” she said.
One of these events is the International Bar Association Annual Conference, which will take place in 2017.