The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is contributing a loan of over $2.8 million to help chocolate-maker Natra add a new location in London.

The chocolate manufacturing facility, which will be part of Natra's consumer goods division, is expected to bring with it 56 new jobs.

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Eric Hoskins, said in a statement "Our government is pleased Natra has decided to open a production facility in London that will bring good jobs to the area. We are committed to helping our communities grow."

The new factory will help the company meet growing demand in North America for chocolate bars, spreads and other specialty products, which it currently produces at factories in Spain, France and Belgium.

CEO Stephane Forrer added "We’re thankful for the support of the Ontario government and the people of this province. Our new production facility in London will help strengthen our North American footprint and increase the sales of our consumer goods division."

At full capacity, the new London plant will make an estimated 12,000 tonnes of chocolate per year.