NZ Sugar Company Announces $7M Visitor Experience Investment
New Zealand Sugar Company Announces $7m Visitor Experience Investment
New Zealand Sugar Company Limited has today announced plans to open ‘Chelsea Bay’, a brand new visitor experience centre, including an informative factory tour, an interactive educational exhibit, a baking school and a waterfront café at its iconic Birkenhead, Auckland site.
The company is investing $7m in the development, which is on track to open in April 2018. By partnering with Goodman Fielder, whose iconic brands include Edmonds and Meadow Fresh, Chelsea Bay is destined to become the home of kiwi baking.
New Zealand Sugar, a long-established Birkenhead icon, has been in business for over 133 years and Chelsea Bay is an exciting new development in the company’s long history. NZ Sugar General Manager, Bernard Duignan says the development is proof of the company’s continued investment in New Zealand and the local economy, providing economic benefit through jobs and tourism for the region.
“We’re opening our doors to the public and inviting them to experience the history and heritage we’re so proud of, first hand.
“We’re bringing back the Chelsea Sugar factory tours, which will give children and adults alike the chance to see up close, a successful, sustainable manufacturing business. Effectively the paddock-to-plate experience, helping visitors to understand where sugar and flour, important food sources, come from, and how they are made,” says Mr. Duignan.
Managing Director of Goodman Fielder NZ Ltd, Tim Deane comments, “Edmonds has a proud history in delivering New Zealanders quality baking ingredients for generations, and we are incredibly excited to continue this journey in a partnership with Chelsea which will inspire future generations to get involved in baking.
“The Baking School will be a fun, hands on experience, and will serve two purposes; it will help foster in future generations, the love and simple pleasure that comes from baking, by teaching them the basics. Secondly, the Baking School will support teachers by incorporating elements of the school curriculum including food technology, the science of baking, and the importance of dietary moderation,” says Mr. Deane.
In addition, the free interactive exhibit area will connect visitors to the Chelsea and Edmonds brand history, heritage, quality and range.
A café, located on the water’s edge of the Waitemata Harbour is a welcome addition to the area, complementing the surrounding wetlands, native bush and flora and fauna of the neighbouring Chelsea Estate Heritage Park.
Beca and NZ Strong are overseeing the design and build of the 500 square metre project, which will create up to 16 new jobs.
Local residents and the business community are looking forward to the opportunities Chelsea Bay will bring to the area. Local resident Kirsten Foster commented, “The visitor centre sounds like a great way to reinvigorate the area, plus give a new generation the same fond memories of the factory tours that we had.”
Similarly, Birkenhead Town Centre Manager, Kae Condon believes the growth the village has seen in the past few years will only be increased by Chelsea Bay.
“It’s the most significant catalyst for economic growth in the country’s only sugar town since the factory was established in 1884,” she says. “We’re inspired by the opportunities this development brings to create a new tourist destination for the region.”