A $52 million expansion of Mars Chocolate Australia's Ballarat plant was announced this morning, securing more than 400 jobs at the site.
General manager Michael Ryan said the major upgrade would involve the construction of a brand new Maltesers production facility.
"The Maltesers plant will be installed over the next 12 months and the rest of the investment is over the next couple of years," he said.
"During the construction phase, there will be a significant increase in jobs - probably about 100."
Mr Ryan said about the new jobs would be sourced predominantly from Ballarat, but others from Melbourne and other parts of Victoria would be required also.
He said the existing workforce had been secured by the announcement, news which was received well by employees this morning.
"People feel really good about the business and this announcement give them a lot of confidence," he said.
"It's a great team here ... its a great workforce and I think also its a great lifestyle here in Ballarat."
"A lot of the people who work here are from Ballarat, but others come from Melbourne and Sydney and find it's a great place to live as well.
"The Victorian government contributed $2 million towards the expansion, with $1.5 million earmarked for the energy and water upgrades and a further $500,000 for production line upgrades.
In Ballarat for the announcement this morning, Premier Ted Baillieu said the investment was great news for Ballarat.
"By supporting Mars to lower operating costs we are securing the jobs of the plant's 424 workers and contractors," he said.
"This significant new investment will generate more constriction jobs in Ballarat and boost exports from regional Victoria."