Australian premium ice cream manufacturer, Harry & Larry’s, is set to expand its dessert line and create new jobs after being named a successful recipient of the Victorian Government’s $24.5 million Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF).
Established by the Federal and Victorian governments with Ford Australia, the fund was created to support local manufacturing businesses, drive economic growth, and create much-needed employment opportunities for Victorians.
Harry & Larry’s will receive $1.2 million from the fund to invest in a new production facility that will include custom engineering production lines, and latest developments in freezing technology.
Lawrence Harris, founder, Harry & Larry’s, said these grants were a positive sign that Australian governments are prepared to invest in manufacturing in the right areas – innovation, capacity and efficiency.
“We’re currently looking to secure a new site in Melbourne’s north, with a view to move into our new factory in 2016. This grant will not only allow us to expand and innovate, but will in turn create over 30 new jobs.
“Creating new jobs is a very important part of the fund, as is the focus on continual innovation and staying ahead of the curve.
“Ice cream production is an art and we’re constantly experimenting with new flavours, inclusions and techniques to give our customers what they want – premium, beautiful ice cream at an affordable price,” Harris said.
While general manufacturing jobs have decreased since 2012, the growing dairy industry has seen the ice cream manufacturing industry experience strong business growth year on year.
In line with these statistics, Harry & Larry’s has increased its plant capacity by 40 percent in the last year alone and the new facilities, made possible by the MNIIF grant, will play a critical role in supporting this growth into the future.
Victorian Minister for Industry, Lily D’Ambrosio, said such investments in manufacturing were critical and show just how capable Victorian businesses are in driving innovation and growth.
“Having secured national customers and established its own brand, this business [Harry & Larry’s] knew that ongoing success requires innovation,” D’Ambrosio said.
The recent grants build on the 16 projects already underway and are expected to create more than 470 jobs by June 2016.