|Wine Australia UK plays down proposed London move|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Monday, 05 December 2011 10:41|
Wine Australia's UK chief has played down the proposed move from its central London offices as part of a drive to cut costs.
Speaking at the generic body's annual general meeting, chief executive Andrew Cheesman said Wine Australia's funding base had decreased by 30% since 2007.
According to the Australian, Cheesman said that while it is committed to the wine sector, existing services "cannot be sustained on the current funding base and levy arrangements".
Despite having restructured in the past two years, he said without additional support from stakeholders it would have to "reconsider our presence, or the extent of our presence, in some markets".
But he said jobs would not be lost and that the body was not planning an exit from the UK market.
Wine Australia's London office is located within Australia House, on prime real estate on the Strand.
Yvonne May, who heads up the UK office, played down the news, telling Harpers there was “no way it was pulling out of Australia House”. But she said, as a statutory body it had a duty of care to stakeholders to undertake periodic reviews of expenditure. “We are committed to a strong presence in the UK market,” she added.
“There are so many soft benefits in being in Australia House – it means we can work closely with the other Australian bodies here – and use the facilities for events.”
She said the lease was “ongoing” adding that there was “no immediate intention” to pull out of the location.