PLANS are under way for one of Kangaroo Island's most audacious plans - a working mill to process local wool.
That wool would be manufactured into garments at the mill to be sold at an industrial and retail hub at Cygnet River, just outside of Kingscote.
The project is supported by a bushfire-related Local Economic Recovery grant from both the state and federal governments.
The KI Business and Brand Alliance says the the proposal by KI Wool will bring rare skilled manufacturing jobs to the Island.
The project would also transform one of the Islands's historic and unique buildings as part of an industrial and retail hub at Cygnet River.
KI Wool has already purchased most of its equipment: a mill from Orange, NSW, which comes with its own master spinner who will relocate to the Island.
Also purchased is a dryer and scourer from the US, knitting machine from China and a garment machine from Japan.
"We started off with an idea to buy a knitting machine and now we've ended up with a plan much grander," KI Wool secretary Greg Johnsson said.
"It's a flagship opportunity to reinvigorate the wool industry on the Island and provide a unique experience for tourists to understand the industry through a 'fibre to finished article' process."
KI Business and Brand Alliance says tourism and education opportunities will complement the development.
And the hub is ideally located just outside of Kingscote, on the way to the airport and connections to western end of the Island.
The project has received $900,000 in Local Economic Recovery funding through the National Bushfire Recovery Fund with the aim to have the money spent by June 2022.
An architect has been appointed to the master planning for the project at the historic wool shed site on Playford Highway at Cygnet River, on land owned by the Bell family's Bellevista farming operation.
KI Wool will lease the facility, which meets all the project requirements: main road access, mains water and a landowner prepared to build the required sheds.
There's no design yet or even an artist's impression yet but the KI Wool team is moving ahead to buy the required machinery and meets weekly to keep the ball rolling.
The rough plan is for 300sqm of manufacturing space and 250sqm of retail/tourism space.
After that, there are plenty of options - maybe a 360-degree theatre experience, a café, a plaza style arrangement - everything is on the table.
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