Mondelēz International has today announced it will go ahead with plans to redevelop and grow Cadbury World to ensure it remains a key Dunedin tourist attraction.

Following Mondelēz’s decision to end manufacturing operations in Dunedin, which will take effect in March 2018, the company has worked with tourism experts, as well as Cityforce and community leaders, to progress designs which will ensure the landmark site remains a lasting legacy for the Dunedin community.

New Zealand Country Head, James Kane, today confirmed the decision and detailed the significant plans for growth.

“The NZ$7 million investment will create an entirely new tourism experience in the historic Castle Street Old Dairy which is being refurbished to provide a new home for Cadbury World," said Kane.

“We hope to double the number of full-time equivalent roles from about 25 to 50. Visitor numbers are expected to go from 110,000 to over 180,000 per year, ensuring it remains one of Dunedin’s most popular tourist attractions and a popular meeting place for the local community.

“The decision to end local operations has been a difficult one for our people and the business, however our investment in Cadbury World ensures an important part of Dunedin’s growing tourism sector remains in the city."

As well as the permanent roles in Cadbury World, the construction phase will employ approximately seven full-time workers, and up to 30 on-site contractors during the peak fit-out period. Approximately 75 percent of the project budget will be invested with local suppliers with the project to be completed by late-2018.

CEO of the Dunedin Airport, Richard Roberts, said the commitment to Cadbury World ensures Dunedin’s tourism offer remains strong in a competitive domestic and international environment.

“The tourism sector in Dunedin is incredibly exciting with about two million domestic and international visitors each year enjoying a range of attractions that provide varied groups with things to do.2 Where I think Cadbury World adds so much to the local tourism offer is in the family space where visitors are looking for something fun that will both educate and excite people of all ages,” said Roberts.

Under the proposal, visitors will be delighted by a magic elevator, sensory chocolate experience, historic displays, and public open space, just to name some of the features.

Meanwhile, Mondelēz has also committed to retaining many of the events that currently form part of the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival via a calendar of events throughout the year.

“We know many of the Carnival events are incredibly popular, and also provide support for local community groups,” said Kane.

“We thought long and hard about what would be appropriate in 2018 following the closure of the Dunedin factory, and sought feedback from the local team and community stakeholders. We believe a calendar of events associated with Cadbury World is the best way to continue to engage the local community, attract visitors from outside Dunedin, and raise funds for our community partners.”

Mondelēz will now work with stakeholders - including community partners - to identify the events from the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival that could feature as part of the calendar of events.