Shed 6 surpasses council's expectations

BLAKE CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 14:55 28/08/2014
shed 6
CRAIG SIMCOX/FAIRFAX NZ

One of the function rooms at Shed 6 on the waterfront.

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Never mind the Town Hall closure, Wellington is still open for conferences.

That's the message from the Wellington City Council, which said there had been a massive jump in conference bookings at the year-old Shed 6.

When Wellington Town Hall closed in November, ahead of a three-year earthquake-related strengthening project, conference organisers found themselves in need of a similar-sized alternate venue.

The $6.5 million upgrade of Shed 6 was specifically planned by the council so the city would have the capacity to continue hosting large events.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said bookings for the venue had surpassed expectations.

Since Shed 6 opened in August last year it has hosted 88 events.

Most conferences booked for the Town Hall were relocated to Shed 6 and some moved to other Wellington venues. For example, the annual Webstock conference in February moved to the larger capacity St James Theatre.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the council's investment in Shed 6 had paid off.

"The investment has been worthwhile and should continue to be positive even when the Hilton convention centre opens."

Shed 6 has hosted the Brewers' Guild Awards, Wellington Fashion Week events, the coffee festival Caffeination as well conferences and cultural festivals.

"Like the Tardis, Shed 6 seems bigger and more beautiful inside," Wade-Brown said.

"I've enjoyed watching World Cup football games there, TEDx was hugely successful and the proximity to our magnificent harbour makes Shed 6 an ideal location."

During the past year 179,000 delegates and guests have attended 385 events at council- owned venues.

BY THE NUMBERS

$140 million: the value of Wellington's conference and exhibitions industry.

$6.5m: cost of the Shed 6 upgrade.

1050: the standing capacity of Shed 6.

92 days: length of time of the Shed 6 fitout.

385: Events held at Positively Wellington venues in the past year.

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- The Wellingtonian

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