A unique tourism opportunity will be established at the Kingscote wharf precinct on Kangaroo Island after the sale of Crown Land was finalised this week.
South Australian beverage company Bickford’s Group will establish a craft distillery and microbrewery on the land at the historic former Kingscote Police Station and cells.
The development will revitalise the under-utilised Kingscote waterfront, deliver a unique tourism attraction to Kangaroo Island and provide a regional economic boost.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway, who will visit the site today, said the project provided a great opportunity for the local community.
“Bickfords is a well-known South Australian family-owned company with a plan to help revitalise the Kingscote wharf area,” said Minister Ridgway.
“The development will create an integrated tourism and hospitality facility that will attract visitors, promote the food and wine industries and generate jobs. It also includes the establishment of a visitor and function centre.
“This project will provide Kangaroo Island with another high-class facility to showcase local produce and give residents a place to come together and enjoy what the Island has to offer.”
The group submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Office of the State Coordinator-General in 2015. The proposal went through a three-stage assessment process that included consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and was determined to deliver value for taxpayers. It has not sought any State Government financial support.
Minister for Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said the company had bought the land for market value.
“This project will create a vibrant hub of social activity and at the same time sympathetically enhance the historic aspects of the site,” said Minister Speirs.
“The proposal was considered by an assessment panel which took into account community concerns about protecting the historical value of the buildings in the proposed development.
“The panel determined that the benefits of the project to the community warranted its approval, and noted the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings.”
Bickford’s Group of Companies Marketing Manager Chris Illman said the development would be a unique tourist destination.
“Our master plan is to establish a craft distillery, brewery, restaurant and eco-tourism offer on the site that is sympathetic to the current infrastructure and that delivers a unique tourism offer on the island for future generations to enjoy,” said Mr Illman.
“This project will add considerable weight to the tourism offer on the island and will lead to significant employment opportunities in the build and ongoing operations of the business.”