A popular tourist attraction and chocolate manufacturer on Philip Island has received support from the Victorian state government to expand its facilities, create more local jobs and boost tourism.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, visited the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory last week. The factory is being supported by the state government’s Business Competitiveness Program to expand its production capacity and build new viewing areas for visitors, creating 25 new jobs.
“We’re supporting businesses like the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory to expand and become more competitive because it drives growth and creates local jobs,” Pakula said.
“This program provides Victorian businesses with the support they need to export even more products around the globe – cementing our reputation as Australia’s manufacturing state.”
The $1.4 million project involves bringing in new machinery that will significantly boost production from 35 to 550 tonnes of chocolate each year – roughly the same weight as a full Airbus A380 airplane.
This will help the business to meet rising demand for chocolate through wholesale and export sales.
“We are passionate about chocolate and the support from the Victorian government allows us to share our passion with more people from around the world and treat them to some Phillip Island sweetness,” Philip Island Chocolate Factory owner Panny Letchumanan said.
The project will also create more viewing areas for the public to see how the company’s chocolate treats are made, enhancing the experience for visitors which averaged around 170,000 a year prior to the pandemic.
“The Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is already an iconic part of our region, and this expansion means it can welcome more visitors, provide more jobs for locals and make more delicious chocolate for everyone,” member for Bass Jordan Crugnale said.
Tourism is big business in Phillip Island. In 2019, Phillip Island welcomed 2.7 million visitors who stayed 3.1 million nights and contributed $579 million into the local economy.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is one of 28 small to medium-sized manufacturers across the state to receive a grant from the Business Competitive Program. The program aims to improve production and make Victoria’s manufacturing sector more competitive.
A full list of Business Competitiveness Program grant recipients is available here.