Following its $100 million purchase of the Novotel Twin Waters Resort in Queensland last month (September 2018), The Shakespeare Property Group, today revealed a further commitment to the region, announcing its latest project – a new, purpose-built convention centre for the Sunshine Coast.

The $8 million Convention Centre will be the destination’s pre-eminent event venue when it opens to local, interstate and international visitors in April 2019.Shakespeare Property Group are planning to invest a total of $10 million dollars in upgrades to the resort and Convention Centre at Novotel Twin Waters Resort over the next couple of years.

A formal address to announce the development at Novotel Twin Waters Resort will take place this morning (11.30am).

Shakespeare Property Group CEO and Executive Director Yak Yong Quek, has invited Sunshine Coast Mayor Mr Mark JamiesonVisit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford and Jess Pugh MP, Member for Mount Ommaney (representing the Hon.Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development), andAccorHotels Vice President Operations QLD/NT Matt Young to turn the first sod and officially mark the start of construction.

Mr Quek, said, “We are very pleased to form a strategic alliance with our partners in Queensland to deliver the Sunshine Coast this much needed facility to capitalise on fresh opportunities in the business and events space.

“Our vision for continued development and investment in Queensland – not least of all here on the Sunshine Coast – is to create superior conference and accommodation options that supports overall economic and cultural growth for the communities we operate in.

“We are confident that further investment in infrastructure such as this will increase the capacity for the Sunshine Coast to attract significant events, conferences and exhibitions, with potential to cater to the domestic and international travel markets.”

The new-build centre, located within Novotel Twin Water Resort, will offer a choice of four different dynamic meeting and event spaces across 1,600sqm. It will cater for 2,000 delegates theatre style, or 1,000 banquet style.

The convention centre has been designed to seamlessly attach to the Wandiny Pavillion, an existing conference space located on the site. The Wandiny Pavillion can facilitate up to 1,200 delegates theatre style, or 75 exhibition booths (3×2 mtrs) making it an extremely versatile business events venue and taking the convention centre’s overall capacity to 3,400 people.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Novotel Twin Waters Resort project was a sign tourism on the Sunshine Coast was going from strength to strength.

“This investment will add to the tourism experiences on offer here on the Sunshine Coast. We know that new infrastructure is crucial when it comes to luring more visitors to the Sunny Coast. This development offers new event spaces and excellent conference facilities that will boost the local economy and create jobs. There is a lot happening for tourism on the Sunshine Coast, with this major investment and the completion of the Sunshine Coast International Airport upgrade in 2020 – there’s plenty to look forward to for locals”.

AccorHotels has also been announced as the preferred operator for the new convention centre.

AccorHotels Vice President Operations QLD/NT, Matt Young, said, “We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Shakespeare Property Group with the management of the centre.

“AccorHotels are not just local hotel operators, but have strong experience in operating convention centres and premium meeting spaces at home and overseas. We are confident that this new convention facility, supported by our strong network of hotels in Queensland’s South East and beyond, will drive visitor growth to the Sunshine Coast, create jobs, support local businesses and deliver broader economic benefits to the region as a whole.”

Mr Young added that Novotel Twin Waters Resort was the number one conference facility for the AccorHotels group in Queensland and the Northern Territory last year.

“The strong performance of Novotel Twin Waters Resort as a conference destination is a powerful case in itself for this centre being built. In recent years, the resort has been attracting significant events, upwards of 500 delegates and generally over a number of days. A large percentage of clients are repeat business due to our expertise in service and hosting mid to large scale events. Of course having added capacity and new facilities will only help cement Novotel Twin Waters Resorts’ status as the region’s drawcard destination, and will enable us to seek out and attract new, events and business – including larger scale conferences – from as soon as Q2 of 2019.”

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the $10 million commitment by the Shakespeare Property Group in expanding the event and convention facilities and other enhancements at the Novotel Twin Waters resort is a great show of confidence in the Sunshine Coast and a boost for our tourism sector.

“The Sunshine Coast receives approximately 10 million tourists each year, has 30,000 plus businesses and is one of the fastest growing economies in Australia  and we need our infrastructure to keep up,” Mayor Jamieson said. “With our focus on attracting major conferences and events to the region, this investment is timely and will be a welcome boost to the wider economy, creating new jobs, and supporting others connected to the hotel and convention industry supply-chain. This will range from food suppliers to service providers such as cleaners to local experience providers such as Australia Zoo and Eumundi markets and transportation companies among others.

“This investment by Shakespeare Property Group comes on the back of approvals for two other major hotel developments earlier this year and is occurring at the right time with the new runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport coming on line by Christmas 2020.

“The company’s investment matches perfectly with our Regional Economic Development Strategy, a clear 20-year plan to build a strong economy for the region and bring higher value employment and opportunities to the Sunshine Coast.”

CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, Simon Latchford, said that Shakespeare Group’s recent purchase of the 4-star Novotel was a sign that investors are confident in the investment opportunities and growth of Sunshine Coast as a destination.

“We are very excited with Shakespeare’s involvement in our region,” he said. “They have an excellent track record in identifying high-potential tourism assets, and the Novotel plays a key role in supporting the region’s leisure and conference business.

“We welcome their intentions to upgrade and expand the resort’s facilities, as it enjoys a desired location on the Sunshine Coast and can build on its reputation as one of Australia’s most popular resorts.”

Shakespeare Property Group is an experienced hotel investor in Australia, with a string of projects in major centres along the east coast, including five hotels that equate to more than 1,200 rooms.

The convention centre is the group’s fourth major investment in Queensland in recent years, sitting aside its solid property portfolio which includes the recently renovated, Novotel Oasis Resort Cairns, Pullman Cairns International and Novotel Twin Waters Resort, all managed by Australia’s largest hotel group, AccorHotels.

The new convention centre and Shakespeare Property Group’s planned updates and improvements at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort comes at a time of renewed investment interest for the destination, including Bruce Highway updates for better accessibility from Brisbane, and new runway facilities for the nearby Sunshine Coast Airport to enhance the route for interstate travellers.

The convention centre project, which is being constructed by Hutchinson Builders and designed by Medhurst Architects, is expected to create more than 200 jobs during the construction phase, and a substantial increase of staff when fully operational.