Purpose-built facilities for manufacturing and retail will be built in Saskia Way, Morwell, to help grow local businesses Cool Aqua Springs and Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who secured $1.75 million from the Federal Government to build the facilities and support local jobs, today joined Cool Group representatives in a ceremony to turn the first sod and mark the start of the $4.2 million project.
Mr Chester said one site would be purpose-built for manufacturing and logistics, and the other would house retail stores and administration for both businesses.
“This development will benefit both Cool Aqua Springs and Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety, creating opportunities to expand their current product range to markets interstate and overseas,” Mr Chester said.
“The manufacturing and logistics facility will streamline the company’s activities and allow two businesses to operate under one roof.
“The new retail facility will incorporate products from both business including beverage dispensers, bottled water and embroidered or personalised workwear and uniforms.
“This development supports local jobs and encourages new investment in our community, with 12 jobs to be created during construction and an additional 10 staff to be employed once operational.
Cool Group of Companies Managing Director Alfi Prestipino said the funding would allow both businesses to expand into new markets, resulting in growth opportunities for the future.
“We are committed to using local builders and contractors and have appointed a local building company, Furlan Constructions, for the build at the new sites,” Mr Prestipino said.
“I want to thank Darren and the Federal Government for supporting our local business. Without this grant, this development would not have been possible and we would not have the ability to grow the business as we intend to.”
The new facility is due to be operational by September 2019.
The Federal Government provided $1.75 million to the project through the Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP). The Cool Group of Companies committed a further $2.5 million to the project.
A total of $20 million has been announced for projects in Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire and Wellington Shire from RJIP to stimulate investment and create jobs in Gippsland, in response to the closure of Hazelwood Power Station.