Dunedin’s Cadbury World will feature a new chocolate waterfall as part of a $3 million dollar plan to redevelop the Cadbury factory into a tourist attraction.
Cadbury owner, Mondelez International, plans to close the factory early next year and move production to Australia as part of a global move to cut US$3 billion (NZ$4.2b) in costs.
Cadbury World will expand into the adjoining confectionary factory after it closes, making the attraction six times its current size.
The new Cadbury World will open in late 2018, and could employ some of the 350 factory workers who face losing the jobs.
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E tu union coordinator Chas Muir said Mondelez has consulted with workers about their jobs.
He said there was a commitment from the company that new jobs created by Cadbury World would be offered to the existing workers.
“When we’re talking about several hundred losing their jobs, there won’t be as many as that jobs created but there might well be some.”
Cadbury World employs 35 people and most work part-time.
Muir expected new jobs to be available about September of next year.
Muir said the uncertainty has weighed heavily on the Dunedin staff.
“This is all very stressful for them but we are trying to work with them and the company to get the best possible outcomes for each and every one of them,” Muir said.
Cadbury World attracts about 110,000 visitors a year and Mondelez aims to increase that to 180,000 when the extention opens.
Mondelez International Dunedin site manager Judith Mair said growing Cadbury World would give visitors a better experience.
The expanded Cadbury World will feature a glass elevator, chocolate making displays, a manufacturing exhibit featuring holograms of “Pepper’s ghost”, and a chocolate waterfall.
During the course of its history the 149-year old building has been home to a distillery, a brewery, a flour mill, a biscuit factory, and the chocolate factory.
Mair said the redevelopment would give the local community and visitors a fun chocolate experience and recognise the site’s significant heritage.