Halifax and the province are considering building a new convention centre big enough to host several large gatherings and smaller events at the same time.

The two levels of government are seeking proposals for a new World Trade and Convention Centre that would be at least 150,000 square feet and be located in downtown Halifax.

Premier Rodney MacDonald said the city and the province have outgrown the existing centre on Argyle Street, which opened in 1984.

"As we continue to develop the downtown, it's clear more convention space needs to be part of the plan," he said in a news release Tuesday.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly said a bigger centre would allow the city to host conventions for groups from around the world.

The current World Trade and Convention Centre, which is linked to the Metro Centre, has three floors of meeting and banquet rooms. It can accommodate up to 3,000 people.

The centre is owned by the province and run by Trade Centre Ltd., a Crown corporation. The Halifax Regional Municipality also provides some funding for it every year.

Once all expressions of interest are in, a committee will come up with a short list of candidates who will then have to give more detail in an official request for proposals, the premier's release said.