A new $260 million investment is to rejuvenate Melbourne’s CBD. Image – Canva
  • $260 million is to be invested into revitalising the Melbourne CBD
  • The investment aims to attract interstate tourists to the city
  • Renewed city spaces and more cultural events are some features of the new funding

The Victorian government has announced more than $260 million dollars of investment to help rejuvenate Melbourne’s CBD, with the aim of attracting the tourist dollar.

This investment will be implemented in a variety of forms.

The state’s acting Premier, James Merlin, and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, announced yesterday that the Victorian Budget of 2021/22 would dedicate $107.4 million for sustaining the city’s pandemic-driven boom in outdoor dining, for events that attract tourists, and for bolstering city businesses.

“Life is returning to the CBD and we’re making sure the recovery continues with support for all of the things that Victorians and visitors love about Melbourne.”

James Merlino, acting Victorian Premier

In light of Melbourne’s ‘Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme’,  $8.4 million has been dedicated to a new voucher scheme. It will aim to entice Melburnians and visitors to support city cafes and restaurants.

A ‘CBD Dining Scheme’ is to open in the coming weeks. This will see rebates of 20% – from a minimum of $10 returned to a maximum rebate of $100 – available for spending on dining.

“We’re backing the buzz of our cafes, restaurants and bars – and the people who make their living from them,” said James Merlino.

Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund‘, cofounded by the state government and the City of Melbourne, will see $200 million invested into renewing city spaces.

Arts and cultural events in the CBD as well as supporting recovery for CBD small businesses will be a focus of the Fund.

“Victoria is the events and culture capital of Australia and our natural assets are simply stunning. We’ve got a great story to tell, and we’re telling it far and wide to back our tourism businesses and workers.” 

Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events

An original $100 million ‘Melbourne City Recovery Fund’ provided 1,200 grants to businesses, helping them fund the COVIDSafe dining spaces. It also financed improvements in the city streetscape like widened footpaths and planter boxes as well as supporting events like Melbourne Fashion Week and Melbourne Music Week.

“The first phase of the Melbourne City Recovery Fund has been critical to keeping thousands of Melburnians in work, particularly in industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic such as hospitality, events and retail.”

Sally Capp, City of Melbourne Lord Mayor

“We know there’s still more to do to support our city’s economic recovery and that’s why this joint fund is so important for local businesses and workers.”

Victoria’s budget will see $55 million provided to Visit Victoria, the official travel website for Melbourne.

The funding aims to ensure forward planning for the recovery of tourism from across the state and the country. As well as preparation for the eventual return of international arrivals when public health conditions permit.

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