Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to increase its export presence and create 23 new jobs by upgrading its factory using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

The company will use a Made in Queensland grant plus matching company funds to install automated wrapping and boxing equipment in its Toowoomba facility.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Pixie was a family-owned company that had been turning Darling Downs milk and other local products into ice cream for nearly 60 years.

‘This technology will save the company approximately $1.1 million a year in operating costs and increase distribution capacity in Australia, as well as helping to increase Pixie’s recent foothold in North American and Asia-Pacific markets,’ Mr Dick said.

‘The combination of Pixie’s equal investment with the State Government means its workforce can increase by more than 25% to 110 employees, up from 87.’

Mr Dick said Pixie was one of the first recipients of a grant from the Made in Queensland program, which offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

He said a new round of grant applications was now being assessed.

‘Queensland’s $20 billion manufacturing sector already employs approximately 165,000 people,’ Mr Dick said.

‘In April I announced the opening of the second round of the $40 million Made in Queensland program and we have received 115 expressions of interest.’

The EOIs are currently being assessed to see which applicants will move onto the next phase of assessment.

The Made in Queensland funding program complements the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which sets out a vision for an innovative, sustainable and globally recognised advanced manufacturing sector in Queensland by 2026.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.