End of an era for Guinness in West London

Guinness-maker Diageo has announced it will move its global headquarters from its current building in Brent to a new home in London city, sealing the end of an area for the company in the region.

In 2004, the brewing of Guinness in Britain stopped after almost 70 years as all production at the Park Royal location moved back to Dublin. The closure of the brewery in Brent, north west London, led to the loss of around 90 jobs.

For many decades, the old Guinness Brewery – along with the local hospital and the McVitie’s biscuit factory – were large employers of Irish people in London.

The world’s largest spirits company, which also makes Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Baileys, recently saw operating profit rise 10 per cent to £4 billion (€4.48 billion) for the year ended June 30th.

The move will take place in the spring of 2021, as the company enters the final stages of its current lease in Park Royal. All 900 employees across Diageo’s London-based operations will come together in the new location.

Diageo said the relocation provides the opportunity to create an “agile, world-leading working environment” for all its London-based employees and reduce its combined 200,000 square feet of office space to a more efficient 105,000-square-foot building.

The new headquarters, located at 16 Great Marlborough Street, will provide an “immersive customer collaboration centre and brand experience”, showcasing many different aspects of the company’s brands, including Guinness.

Park Royal Brewery (Photo by Andrew Drysdale / Rex Features =)

Meanwhile, a dedicated retail experience will also be open to the public, enabling consumers to purchase Diageo products.

Mairéad Nayager, chief HR officer at Diageo, said: “We are excited to be bringing our people together at last under one roof and closer to our consumers. We intend to create a world-leading workspace for them, designed to meet the needs of Diageo today and in the future.”

In its full-year results published last week, Diageo reported a 6.1 per cent rise in organic net sales, thanks in part to the growth of its gin brands and performance in China.

For the year to the end of June, the company posted reported net sales of £12.9 billion. Reported operating profit increased 9.5 per cent to £4 billion.


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