Bickford's purchases historic Kingscote Police Station for its distillery, microbrewery

LAND TRANSFER: The Bickford's Group of Companies purchased the old Kingscote Police Station and cells at market value and will turn the building into a distillery and microbrewery.
LAND TRANSFER: The Bickford's Group of Companies purchased the old Kingscote Police Station and cells at market value and will turn the building into a distillery and microbrewery.

Bickford's moved one step closer to building its distillery and microbrewery on Kangaroo Island after after the sale of Crown land at the wharf precinct was finalised this week.

South Australian beverage company the Bickford's Group of Companies will establish a craft distillery and microbrewery on the land at the historic former Kingscote Police Station and cells.

The KI Council at its May 14 meeting voted to re-dedicate three lots along Kingscote Terrace at the Kingscote Jetty to allow the Bickfords Group to move ahead with its plans for a distillery.

CROWN LAND: The Crown land at 100, 101 and 102 at the Kingscote jetty has been rededicated to Bickfords, the State Government and the Kangaroo Island Council, respectively.

CROWN LAND: The Crown land at 100, 101 and 102 at the Kingscote jetty has been rededicated to Bickfords, the State Government and the Kangaroo Island Council, respectively.

The old Kingscote police station on Lot 100 will be sold to Bickfords and Lots 101 and 103 will be transferred back to the State Government.

The sale and transfer only involves the police station and adjacent land and not the rest of the Kingscote jetty, which remains as Crown land under the control of the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure.

The SA Government says the police station 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 on Friday along with Bickford's representatives, 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," Mr Ridgway said.

"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 and provide residents with 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," Mr Speirs said.

"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 and restaurant 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," Mr Illman said.

"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."

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