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Published:  23 July, 2008

In the week the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) completed the purchase of its new headquarters in Southwark, south London, the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) has decided not to go and join them. IMW executive director Siobhan Turner told Harpers that the 790 sq ft offered was smaller than our requirements' and there was not enough natural light'. Loathe to reveal the location of the new premises in the City of London, because she was superstitious' as it had not yet been finally agreed, Turner said that staff were excited about the new location, and at roughly 1,000 sq ft it would allow the institute to grow'. WSET chief executive Ian Harris said he was very disappointed at the decision. The International Wine & Spirit Centre, as it will be known, at 39-45 Bermondsey Street, close to London Bridge railway station, will be ready for occupation by WSET and its tenants in early June, following extensive refurbishment work. Harris said: I am very grateful to the Vintners' Company, our current landlords, for their support and financial assistance which has culminated in us being in a position to create a facility of which the wine and spirit industry can be justifiable proud. For those who have not yet pledged their commitment to buy a brick, there is still time, as the fundraising effort will continue right up to the day we move in,' said Harris. The library is also taking shape, with books donated by Jancis Robinson MW, David Rutherford and the estate of the late John Arlott. The library will also house the archives of Harpers from 1878 onwards.