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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust exchanged contracts on the purchase of its new London base last week and has announced it will move to the new address in June. The building - 39 to 45 Bermondsey St, London SE1 - is to be called The International Wine and Spirit Centre, and the WSET School will be re-named as The London Wine and Spirit School. Harpers has donated its entire back issue catalogue to the new building, including issues dating back to the 19th century. We are most grateful to everyone who has pledged their support in buying either a "corporate brick" or a "personal brick", and we hope - now the building has become a reality - that more companies and individuals will feel they would like to support us and have their name engraved in perpetuity on a brick in the new reception area,' said Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET. Within the new building there will be a Resource Centre, which we hope individuals within the industry will use. In particular, members of the IWS (Institute of Wines & Spirits) will have free access to this room, which will house the library, the Harpers archive and workstations with Internet access.' The three new lecture rooms will also be available for hire. The Vintners Room will hold up to 70 people (theatre style), the Distillers Room will hold up to 40 and the third room (yet to be sponsored) will hold up to 30. As an organisation which is used to handling, storing and serving wines and spirits, we hope that companies in the industry will consider holding seminars, meetings and press tastings at this new facility,' said Harris. Of course the larger lecture space will also allow us to increase our focus on educating the consumer - something I am passionate about. We also have plans to increase the number of core trade courses, with a particular emphasis on increasing education to people who work at the sharp end of the industry in the hospitality and off-trade sectors,' added Harris.