The two key UK organisations within the UK wine industry are to merge to become one single industry body.

The United Kingdom Vineyards Association and English Wine Producers have voted to join forces, and this new single body will operate under the legal name of UK Wine Producers (UKWP).

The merger will be completed within the next few weeks. In the interim the two bodies – UKVA and EWP – will continue to function as separate bodies but will work closely together within the new structure. As part of the merger agreement a new board will be created.

The new industry organisation will bring together the strengths and skills of both UKVA and EWP into one united national trade body, with the sole purpose of promoting, representing and supporting the interests of all sizes of vineyards and producers in the United Kingdom. This will include acting as a single voice to represent the industry at all levels in dealings with government and other national/ international organisations; focus on the control and protection of the provenance; regulation and quality of English and Welsh wines; support delivery and education, training and research; build tourism and create a generic marketing and communications programme for domestic and overseas promotion.

The new board of UKWP will comprise wine producers of different sizes who each bring individual skills and expertise to the operation. The chairman of the new organisation will be Simon Robinson of Hattingley Valley Wines, currently chairman of EWP. UKVA’s chairman, Peter Galdwin of Nutbourne Vineyards, will assume the role of deputy chairman. The current operational executive of both bodies will remain, working together under the new organisation, namely Barry Lewis (chief executive), Jo Cowderoy (membership secretary) and Julia Trustram Eve (marketing director).

Robinson said: “This merger comes at a key point in the growth of our industry. The vote that our members have taken demonstrates a proactive and shared optimism in the future of English and Welsh wines and the many opportunities that lie ahead for us all. There is lots of work to be done – not least to reinforce our position with government and to build on the many services that we can deliver to all members.

“We also have the opportunity to build a strong generic brand for our wines and develop new opportunities such as tourism and export, research and training.”

Gladwin added: “As our industry grows, so our members need the right representation and support to drive it forward. I am delighted that UKVA and EWP are now to merge – it is a completely natural step and prepares us for the exciting future that lies ahead.”

The New Board of UK Wine Producers will be:

Simon Robinson (Chairman) – Hattingley Valley Wines

Peter Gladwin (Deputy Chairman) – Nutbourne Vineyards

Barry Lewis (Chief Executive)- Amber Valley Wines

Mark Driver – Rathfinny Wine Estate

Guy Howard – Giffords Hall Vineyard

Tim Ingram-Hill – Southcott Vineyard

Tamara Roberts – Ridgeview Wine Estate

Frazer Thompson – Chapel Down Wines

Bruce Tindale – High Clandon Vineyard