Construction is underway on the Christchurch Convention Centre with the first concrete being poured for the foundation.
“This is a welcome step in Christchurch’s regeneration. The design of the Convention Centre will make it a standout feature in the central city, and today we start bringing it to life,” says Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive Albert Brantley.
Construction of the Convention Centre will require around 19,000m3 of concrete, 4400 tonnes of structural steel and 43,000 façade panels.
Work will initially focus on the construction of the plenary hall, on the northern side of the site. A live webcam will allow everyone to watch the progress being made.
“The Convention Centre will be a world class venue and a cornerstone of the revitalised central city. With its 2000-person capacity, it will bring events to Christchurch that we have never been able to host in the past. It will also be able to simultaneously host two 700-person events, which the previous facility couldn’t do,” says Mr Brantley.
The Convention Centre includes a 1400-delegate auditorium, a 3600m2 exhibition hall and 1600m2 of meeting rooms that will overlook Victoria Square.
ChristchurchNZ Industry Partnership Manager – Tourism Caroline Blanchfield says Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide either have recently or plan to expand their convention centre because it is a growing industry.
“There is significant demand for a premium facility of this type and the South Island’s stunning scenery will mean Christchurch is an attractive option for international events,” says Mrs Blanchfield.
“We have calculated that the lack of a suitable conference venue is currently costing the local economy more than $90m each year in direct economic investment.”
Tourism New Zealand's International Business Events and Premium Manager Lisa Gardiner says it’s exciting to see the construction of the Christchurch Convention Centre get underway.
“New Zealand is seeing significant growth and benefit from international events organisers choosing the country as a business destination. The addition of this new world-class venue will help support this.”
Construction of the Convention Centre is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 and available for smaller regional events from the middle of that year.