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6th March 2018

Charles Wells submits planning application for new brewery

Family brewer Charles Wells has submitted a planning application for a brand-new brewery and visitor centre that will lay the foundation for the future of Charles Wells as a brewing family and pub company.

The planning application for land at Fairhill, off the A6 in Bedford, details a £13million site that will include:

  • A new 30,000 hectolitre brewery
  • Visitor Centre for brewery tours
  • An on-site pub and a venue for music, events and functions

This location will give Charles Wells 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 have been using water from that well in the production of their beers since 1902.

Commercial Director at Charles Wells, Peter Wells, explains that the location of the new brewery is key: “As a business Bedford has been our home for over 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.”

Choosing the Fairhill site and submitting the planning application is symbolic of the direction of Charles Wells as a business, since the sale of its brewery and brands to Marston’s in 2017. As Peter Wells explains, the focus now is to become a stand-out pub company: “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.”

For further information about Charles Wells new brewery, this application and its build can be found at


For media enquiries please contact: Paul Hutchinson, Public Relations Manager at Charles Wells, on 01234 279234 or


Notes to Editors:


  • Peter Wells or Justin Phillimore are available for telephone interviews.
  • Images available are of Peter Wells (Commercial Director), Justin Phillimore (CEO), Ian Jones (Head Brewer) and also show brewery plans and site and can be downloaded here:
  • The full planning application for Charles Wells’ new brewery is part of a wider development and hybrid application alongside applications by Bedford Borough Council and David Lloyd Leisure.
  • The application will go to planning committee in April 2018.
  • Charles Wells are advised by BHB Architects and Cerda Planning.
  • Charles Wells has been crafting ales in the heart of Bedfordshire as a family brewery since 1876, using its own certified natural mineral water well for all the beers it has produced since 1902.
  • Charles Wells sold its brewery on Havelock Street and most of its brands to Marston’s in May 2017. It retained its Charlie Wells and John Bull beer brands.
  • Charles Wells invested £3.4million into its pub estate in 2017 and has earmarked £2.5 million for 2018.
  • Charles Wells owns and operates 186 leased and tenanted pubs and 23 managed houses across its Pizza, Pots and Pints, Apostrophe and Charles Wells France brands.