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Portman to downsize, Drinkaware boosted

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Portman Group, the industry watchdog that promotes responsible drinking, is to be downsized, and split into two organisations.
The group will continue to advise on policy, and its Code of Practice that lays down guidelines for drinks companies and retailers will stay in place. However, its charitable arm, The Drinkaware Trust, will take precedence and be run as a registered charity as before.

Some 75% of the group's 2.25 million budget will be allocated to Drinkaware, which offers advice on avoiding alcohol abuse and also informs on the implications of excessive drinking. The charity's logo already appears on many brands in the UK.

After the reshuffle, Drinkaware will receive 3 million in funding from producers, retailers and bar chains, rising to 5 million in subsequent years.

A spokeswoman for the group told Harpers that there would be no redundancies, and that by splitting in two the group would have more money to run campaigns'.

She added: We have a steering group, comprising three industry, and three non-industry representatives, working on the transition.'

The Portman Group was set up in 1989 by the UK's leading drinks producers.