Melton City Council
Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence
Melton City Council will receive $14.6 million towards the $21 million Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence (Western BACE) project, which will be built 19 kilometres west of Melbourne in the City of Melton's developing Toolern Precinct.
Challenges and opportunities in the City of Melton
On average, 42 new families are moving into the City of Melton each week, driving demand for thousands of homes each year. There is roughly one local job for every three working residents in Melton and at present around 82 per cent of the workforce leave the area for work each day. Those workers who travel outside the Melton area for work experience an average round trip of 45 minutes. Of the 1.54 million jobs across the Melbourne metropolitan region, fewer than 10% are within a 30 minute drive for Melton residents.
Architect image of the Western BACE
The rapid rate at which Melbourne's west is expanding provides an opportunity to explore new and advanced methods for residential design and construction. In addition to facilitating a greater number of diverse local employment opportunities, the Western BACE will provide training and support for those business involved in residential construction and related trades and will promote more sustainable construction practices.
What is the Western BACE?
The Western BACE will be a sustainably designed office and community facility in the heart of the developing Toolern precinct. The facility will provide:
- accelerator office and work spaces that will support fledgling local businesses, particularly those in the building and construction and digital service industries
- a Centre for Excellence that will support and develop business in environmentally sustainable residential building and construction
- training spaces for tertiary institutions to address skills shortages in the growing population of Melbourne's west
- data centre support, which will provide access to the National Broadband Network and allow business to further benefit from the emerging digital economy
- space for not for profit community services and social enterprises.
The environmentally sustainable construction of the facility will include measures to take advantage of solar systems, use of recycled water and storm water for gardens and car washing, cycle and walking paths. The Centre for Excellence will provide ongoing research & development for sustainable urban development, including training for building and construction businesses. The project is currently in a detailed design phase, with architects contracted by the City of Melton to conceptualise and design a best practice sustainable office, training and community space. Construction will commence in late 2013, with the centre expected to be operating in early 2015.
How will the Western BACE project address issues in the region?
The Western BACE will help to address significant employment issues by facilitating the growth of local diverse job opportunities in Melbourne's west. This will be achieved through the provision of office space and support services for new businesses, with a particular focus on construction sector, given the importance of this industry in providing new homes for the growing population. Melton City Council is partnering with a number of high profile organisations in delivering the Western BACE project.
- Lend Lease is developing the broader Toolern Precinct and will provide vital infrastructure and service connections to the Western BACE
- the Burbank Group will provide building design and project management consultancy services for the construction of the Western BACE
- the Kangan Institute will work closely with the Centre for Excellence in providing training in horticultural landscaping and conservation and land management to local businesses
- the University of Ballarat and Victoria University will provide research in skills and training options for the Melton region, as well as education and training support for businesses located at the Western BACE.
Western BACE is part of the larger Toolern Precinct development. Along with economic enablers such as public transport, public spaces, community services, research and development, and community and business collaborations, the precinct aims to provide 22,000 jobs by 2030.
Melton City Council is also working with the Western Melbourne Regional Development Authority and LeadWest to pursue the possibility of the Western BACE operating as a central support facility for a range of smaller, industry-specific business accelerators across western Melbourne; enhancing the project's impact and supporting the growth of local employment opportunities across the region.
How will the Western BACE demonstrate the opportunities of the digital economy?
The Toolern development will have optic fibre infrastructure that will go to each home and business, which will allow Western BACE to take immediate advantage of the NBN as it commences its roll out.
Western BACE will provide an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the NBN through the Internet Protocol TV Systems and capability for training purposes—linking training to workplaces and homes via internet.
The business accelerator will provide space for a range of new start-ups and it is anticipated that a percentage of these will also be seeking to utilise the high speed fibre optic technology to undertake business.
For further information about the Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence please contact:
Melton City Council
Suburban Jobs Team
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601