Project Description

Southbank Arts and Cultural Precinct

Governance to support the transformation of Melbourne Arts Precinct


Southbank precinct was already home to a cluster of world-class
arts and cultural organisations. However, the precinct lacked the
“glue” that could make the cultural experience cohesive. Broadly,
the challenges identified were a lack of street life such as places to
“hang out”, urban barriers in the architecture and layout of the site,
introverted institutions with no clear roadmap for working together,
and a lack of overall precinct identity. Arts Victoria had a vision for
a site of civic engagement that was welcoming, creative, social and
reflected Melbourne’s identity.


We provided a shortlist of options for governance based on an
analysis of precinct success factors, informed by a benchmarking
study in different jurisdictions, stakeholder views, and analysis of
existing operations. We worked closely with the Project Working
Group throughout this process, contributing to the development of
options, and ensuring a holistic approach.


In 2012, Positive Solutions had assisted Creative Victoria with a
facilities audit for the Southbank Precinct (now Melbourne Arts
Precinct). Later that year, we were engaged to outline a series
of governance options, alongside an economic and development
analysis of the precinct, undertaken by PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
We were also to include a precinct road map for implementation
of the new governance structure. These were to assist the Project
Working Group to begin to deliver the strategies and initiatives that
the precinct needed.


Positive Solutions recommended that a dedicated single entity be
established, responsible for the physical development, placemaking,
activation and marketing of the Arts Precinct. The entity would be
created for a time-limited period to see through implementation
of key elements of the Blueprint. The commercial analysis and
development options recommended maximised significant
commercial return and public benefit, and were to be a key
mechanism for realising the Blueprint’s objectives. The report also
contained a detailed implementation plan which listed steps for
how to enact the recommendation. Positive Solutions was engaged
to deliver an updated Facilities Audit of the precinct in 2017, and
then to inform the governance arrangements for the Melbourne Arts
Precinct Transformation project in 2020 – including the new NGV
Contemporary gallery