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Tue 6th Mar 2018 - Charles Wells submits plans for new £13m brewery
Charles Wells submits plans for new £13m brewery: Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells has submitted plans for a new £13m brewery. The scheme, earmarked for land at Fairhill, off the A6 in Bedford, will feature a 30,000-hectolitre brewery, visitor centre and on-site pub and a venue for music, events and functions. The company said the location would give it access to major roads in and out of Bedford, allowing the brewery to fully support its leased and tenanted estate and growing managed house estates in England and France. The location is also above the Bedford Oolite aquifer, which was famously tapped by brewery founder Charles Wells. The company has been using water from that well in the production of its beers since 1902. Commercial director Peter Wells said: “As a business Bedford has been our home for more than 140 years, and many members of the Wells family have lived and grown up here. Building this brewery in our home town maintains our heritage but gives us an opportunity to further develop our story and create exciting new beers and experiences that will continue to support our loyal pub partners and their customers. While we remain a brewing family, our entire business focus is about supporting our pubs, whether they are part of our leased and tenanted estate or our growing managed estates in the UK and France. The new Charles Wells brewery will be a shining example of how traditional brewers can turn the evolution of the brewing industry to their advantage, listening to their pub partners to create beers that attract customers from far and wide. Support for new operators doesn’t end there. We will also seek to attract and train the best licensees in the industry. The new brewery will be a centre for excellence for ongoing training and best practice guidance throughout their time as a pub partner or managing partner with Charles Wells.” Charles Wells sold its brewery and brands to Marston’s in 2017 for a cash consideration of £55m plus working capital adjustments.

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