$42.5 million project transforms the VCA

A project worth more than $40 million is redeveloping the Dodds Street stables into a visual arts wing at the VCA, creating a new entry point to the University and opening the campus to students, local business and residents.

Scene of a play on stage Announced by the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government in 2014, the redevelopment project strengthens the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s position in the centre of Melbourne’s arts precinct.

Former Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said the redevelopment would transform the VCA and MCM campus in Southbank into an exciting destination for arts and cultural activity.

“The redevelopment project, the largest in the history of the VCA, will create public performance, event and exhibition spaces across the campus and surrounding streets, as well as a series of laneways, public thoroughfares and gardens,” Dr Napthine said.

“The VCA campus sits among some of Victoria’s pre-eminent arts institutions. This project will not only ensure that the VCA maintains its high standards in arts training and research, it will open up the campus to the wider community.”

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the project would be a major boost to the VCA and MCM and arts precinct in Melbourne and would further open the campus to the community.

“We are delighted that this initiative will further add to the cultural vitality of our city and will provide a valuable creative learning hub for tomorrow’s leading artists.”

Dean of the Faculty of the VCA and MCM Professor Barry Conyngham said he was delighted at the redevelopment of the campus.

“The redevelopment is an exciting opportunity for the entire Faculty of the VCA and MCM. The redevelopment of the stables and plans to incorporate the conservatorium into the Southbank campus will further strengthen our standing in the arts community,” he said.

The project is supported by the Victorian Government, the University of Melbourne and the Faculty of the VCA and MCM and is a significant milestone for Believe — the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.

Major gifts to the Campaign, totalling $10 million, from philanthropic bodies the Myer Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation and Martyn and Louise Myer, played a key role in the realisation of the project.

University Campaign Deputy Chairman and member of the MTC Board Mr Martyn Myer AO applauded the announcement and said this funding would have an impact on the local and international arts community.

“Investment in the arts has the potential to make a lasting contribution to Melbourne’s cultural and economic landscape,” he said.

“The redevelopment allows the VCA to continue to nurture local talent and a strong arts community,” he said.