Footscray

Footscray Opportunity and Directions Paper

The Footscray Opportunity and Directions Paper (FODP) highlights the opportunities in the precinct for investment and partnerships:

As one of the Victorian Government’s business precincts, the Paper sets out a vision for Footscray as the heart of creativity and enterprise in Melbourne’s inner west, embracing diversity and fostering opportunity for growth. The Paper provides a framework to:

  • Leverage Victorian Government investment with a focus on economic, land use, transport, social, creative and sustainability objectives
  • Drive future investment and job growth
  • Coordinate actions of Victorian Government precinct partners.

Recent Victorian Government investments support Footscray’s development.

The 2022-23 State Budget provided $2.4 million for the Go West Festivals Fund to support Victorian festivals to present and commission work form artists in Melbourne's West, in particular, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Funding of $17.5 million was also provided to pilot a creative infrastructure grants program for upgrades to facilities, including the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Other recent investments include:

These investments will help Footscray become a prosperous economic hub, building on its rich industrial history, cultural diversity and location as the gateway to Melbourne’s west.

The Paper was developed after consultation with precinct partners and the community including:

  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • Western Health
  • Victoria University
  • Footscray Learning Precinct
  • Footscray Traders Association
  • Footscray Asian Business Association.

You can view the feedback and the key themes of discussion in the FODP Engagement Report:

Cultural heart of Melbourne’s west

Footscray is a designated Business Precinct in recognition of its role as the gateway to the west. The precinct services a growing population and provides new and diversified economic opportunities.

Why Precincts?

Business Precincts are state-significant areas aimed at creating more quality housing and jobs while building on Melbourne’s legacy of distinctiveness, liveability and sustainability.

Taking a Precincts approach enables the Victorian Government to lead and coordinate planning and delivery, working in partnership with local government, the community and private sector.

In the network of precincts, Footscray’s role is as a local centre with a direct focus on community health and provision of services and training opportunities for the inner west.

Local places and projects on the horizon

Existing Footscray Hospital Site

The development of the new Footscray Hospital will provide an opportunity for redevelopment of the existing Footscray Hospital site.

Preliminary studies to understand the opportunities for the site is currently underway. When more information becomes available, engagement with key stakeholders and the community will be undertaken for future planning of the site.

For more information, please see the Existing Footscray Hospital information sheet:

Setting the Scene

Nestled on the Maribyrnong River, only five kilometres west of the CBD, Footscray was Melbourne’s industrial powerhouse for many decades. Bluestone quarries boosted Footscray’s economy and factories lined Footscray’s streets.

Between 2006 and 2016, the Footscray population grew by around 40 per cent.

Due to its rapid growth, Footscray is steadily shifting to new small-scale manufacturing and a health and education focus with major players like Western Health and Victoria University driving jobs, investment and social connections in the precinct.

The health, wellbeing and education sectors will become major employers in the future. More recently, Footscray has been hard hit by the COVID–19 pandemic with businesses and jobs concentrated in the retail, entertainment and creative sectors.

Jobs

According to the 2016 census, the accommodation and food services sector is the largest local employer (employing 12 per cent of the local workforce). Another 11 per cent work in health care and social assistance and 10 per cent in education and training.

Housing

The number of houses and apartments in Footscray is growing. The precinct has almost 2,000 more homes today than in 2011. There are more than 5,000 apartments either under construction or in the planning pipeline.

Infrastructure and services

The major infrastructure agenda in Footscray will see this precinct enjoy:

  • high connectivity
  • quality health and care services
  • a range of education options.

Growing health services in Footscray will create jobs and give people better access to medical care and improve overall health outcomes.

Environment

Footscray Park is one of Australia’s biggest and best Edwardian era parks. Other public spaces in the precinct include Whitten Oval and the Maribyrnong River parklands with an extensive cycling network connecting the region.

More information

The Victorian Government is continuing to work with stakeholders to realise the vision for Footscray.

For more information or enquiries please contact: footscraybusinessprecinct@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 21 June 2022