Charles Wells, the Bedford-based family brewer, has added some retailing edge to its board. Alan Jackson, the former Whitbread executive and Inn Business chairman, has become Wells new non-executive chairman. Colin Mayes, former Old English Inns chief executive, also joins as a non-executive director.

Jackson is also currently executive chairman of City Centre Restaurants and non-executive chairman of Living Ventures, the private company behind the Living Room concept, and the Balaclava pub company, which recently bought the Hobgoblinns chain. He is on the board of De Vere and was until recently also chairman of Jamies Bars.

Mayes is also a former Magic Pub Co director and the current chairman of the ALMR.

The appointments come as Cahrles Wells has embarked on a 30-pub-a-year expansion programme, based on acquiring destination food houses and ‘good’ community wet-let pubs.

Managing director Paul Wells said: “Acquisitions are hard to do at present. Structurally, we have everything in place to expand in any direction – the computer systems, the people and the resources to handle it.”

The company has also introduced a new Pub Alliance programme for its tenanted estate, ranging from short-term tenancies to 20-year leases.